When it comes to stem cell research especially that of Embryonic stem cell research, the definition of what is “human” has not been set in stone. One side of the argument claims that an embryo is not just potential for life but it is indeed life. The other side of this debate is that while an embryo is the potential for life, it is not life yet and is just a possibility that may possibly develop into a fetus, which then would be considered (to some, not all), life. In order to declare someone dead, he or she either needs to be brain dead or clinically dead. Brain dead means that someone has a complete irreversible loss of brain function or a complete loss of circulation and respiratory function ("Uniform Determination of Death Act”). How can a human be killed or go through death if there is no brain, blood, or respiratory function?
Representative Smith states “Once we determine that any human life can be destroyed in the name of science, all life is devalued” (Smith). Is an embryo life? Does an embryo have a brain? Does an embryo have lungs and circulate blood? An embryo is a multicellular diploid eukaryote in its earliest stage of development (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica). What is a multicellular diploid eukaryote? In layman’s terms it is an organism that contains cells and is surrounded by a cell membrane. Once religion stops acknowledging science then all lives; living, lung-breathing, blood-circulating, brain-functioning lives, are devalued. Embryos that have developed into fetuses and went through gestation and birth and developed lungs and a brain and a heart become devalued. Smith goes on to say, “Too many cultures and societies have believed it acceptable to sacrifice the few, the weak, and the vulnerable for the benefit of the strong and the many.” (Smith) Following the scientific definition of life; the few, the weak, and the vulnerable would be humans who are living and breathing. It would be the few who have rare forms of cancer, the weak who are sick with disease, and the vulnerable children and elderly fighting a multitude of illness and injury who would be sacrificed.
The purpose of his article is to stop embryonic stem cell research and push for adult stem cell research. He claims that embryos are children living in a “frozen orphanage.” As a representative for the United States, he introduced legislation to expand federal funding for adult stem cell research (Smith). He supports his article by saying that embryonic stem cell research is wrong with a report from the New England Journal of Medicine stating adult stem cells could be just as useful as embryonic cells, and although that may be true, he neglected to mention the difficulty in obtaining adult stem cells as well as the fact that adult stem cells are harder to culture (grow) because of the small numbers recovered in obtaining them ("Stem Cell Basics”).
When taking a look at his record and political stances, Smith, seems that his views were all rather conservative. A deeper inspection proved that his views are that of a highly religious person who wants all people regardless of their own individual beliefs to follow his methodology and thinking. He supports his claims with religious beliefs and “moral standing,” and the scientific support he uses leaves out a lot of the truth. His entire article seems to have a bias. One side is the moral stance, which he seems to have covered, and the other side would include the scientific stance which he mentions, but a true scientific approach would note what life literally is. Instead there is an interpretation of what he feels that life is. Writer for the NY Times, James Dao says, “He is often labeled an ideological conservative. As a result, Mr. Smith is continually struggling to maintain credibility” (Dao)
The author was successful in proving his view. It was a view that takes science and creates its own meaning. The…