Wednesday, July 19, 2006

President carries out veto threat on stem-cell measure

The AP's Mary Dalrymple reports that President Bush has vetoed H.R.810. Here are his reported remarks:

"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life of the hope of finding medical benefits for others. It crosses a moral boundary that our society needs to respect, so I vetoed it," Bush said at a White House event where he was surrounded by 18 families who "adopted" frozen embryos that were not used by other couples, and then used those leftover embryos to have children.

"Each of these children was still adopted while still an embryo and has been blessed with a chance to grow, to grow up in a loving family. These boys and girls are not spare parts," he said.

I suppose you can admire his consistency on this issue, though I am more inclined toward Art Caplan's comment that it's a foolish and uninformed consistency. As for the shameless display of of these 18 kids, no one (1) ever doubted that frozen embryos have the capacity to be implanted in a womb and nurtered to maturity or (2) suggested that children so produced were merely "spare parts." That comment well illustrates the vacuousness of the president's policy. And unless I miss my guess, there isn't a state in the country that allows couples to adopt an embryo. Embryo donation is expressly permitted in a number of states, and many (but not all) have paternity rules for the resulting child, but adoption of an embryo? Outside of the federally-funded Snowflakes program -- which appears to result in a purely private, contractual arrangement -- I don't know of a state that has provided for such adoptions by law.

posted by Tom Mayo, 12:03 PM

Health care law (including public health law, medical ethics, and life sciences), with digressions into constitutional law, poetry, and other things that matter