Had the more outlandish oracles of the "Gods plan" school
of thought had their way, physicians today still would be treating patients with nothing
more sophisticated than leeches sucking blood and saunas sweating out disease.
Opening the human body surgically, transplanting organs, using artificial
heart pumps or trying gene therapy to ease suffering and prolong life wouldve been
banned as defiance of "Gods plan" to allow humankind to die and suffer
without human intervention.
Now the Republican who would be president, George W. Bush, seems to have
thrown in with this cockeyed thinking.
Bush could barely restrain himself when denouncing the Clinton
administration as "unethical" for plans to use discarded fertilized embryos for
Was this merely partisan Bush pique about a Democratic idea, as was Bush
veepmate Dick Cheneys promise to consider rescinding President Clintons
creation of new national monuments? If so, its a sure sign of juvenile resentment to
bright ideas. Or, was this Bushs moral view? If so, is it a signal Bush would
retreat to the Dark Ages of science?
Researchers believe stem cells offer a wondrous new source of cures for
fatal or crippling diseases thatve defied medicines best efforts.
But Bush as well as strident religious counselors that influence his
policies decry this new hope of conquering major diseases as unethical.
The real ethical abuse would be if God-given good minds werent used
to their best to find ways of eliminating suffering and disease.
Republicans have the reputation of yearning for the past and status quo.
Their presidential and vice presidential candidates did their share last week to protect
that image even if the rest of the world has its head in the 21st century.