Monday, November 06, 2006

Missouri Amendment 2: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Amendment 2

Above is a link to the Missouri Amendment 2 document that is up for voting tomorrow. I finally took the time to read it. I was shocked! It poses as a beneficial document, but upon closer inspection what it really is is an ill defined document which can easily be interpreted to mean nearly anything a person wants it to mean.

The text states:
(2) No human blastocyst ["blastocyst" is a fancy word for a human embryo before implantation in the uterus] may be produced by fertilization solely for the purpose of stem cell research.

(3) No stem cells may be taken from a human blastocyst more than fourteen days after cell division begins; provided, however, that time during which a blastocyst is frozen does not count against the fourteen-day limit.

(4) No person may, for valuable consideration, purchase or sell human blastocysts or eggs for stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures.

(5) Human blastocysts and eggs obtained for stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures must have been donated with voluntary and informed consent, documented in writing.

I cannot figure out why right now, but the above four points bother me. They seem logically inconsistent upon first glance. I will need to think about it further at a later time. I'm not sure how point 2 and 5 are going to fit together.

The document calls for annual reports that cannot contain "private or confidential medical, scientific, or other information." I understand the private and confidential information being not allowed in the report, but how does a person submit a report on health and scientific research and have it contain no scientific information? Also, how is "other information" to be defined exactly? So what can the report contain if it cannot contain information? Clearly, nothing of infomative value can and will be found in the annual reports. Either the sentence is of a poor semantic nature, or there is a snake in the grass.

The document also calls for "ethical requirements" but fails to mention whose ethics and to what degree they will be enfouced.

Lastly, ammendment 2 proposes that it will "prohibit state or local governments from preventing or discouraging lawful stem cell research, therapies and cures". So the government has no authority to govern. What if there are no laws governing the next phase of research does that make it premissible?

How exactly is ES cell research different from abortion? When is humanity going to reach that next great advancement by learning how not to do things?

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