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The Slippery Slope: “Human” Experimentation

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  • Finding out the human body’s capacity to endure and survive high altitude
  • Learning how to treat hypothermia
  • Investigating immunization for and treatment of malaria
  • Researching ways to treat soldiers wounded by mustard gas
  • Treating the soldiers with bone, muscle nerve regeneration and bone transplants

As barbaric and inhumane as we may envision the Nazis, the above are just a few of the reasons for their human experimentation. They wanted to help people. They were at war. They wanted to help the soldiers. They were truly thinking of what was best for all the people and for the future of their nation.

I think it is critical that we remember that as monstrous and evil was their evil — in a very non-human, no way we can relate to such heartlessness — it actually began with good motives: motives to help alleviate suffering, pain and devastation.

Comparing our current debate over embryonic stem cell research to Nazi experimentation is far from extreme when we consider it all principally.

Last week, Senator Bill Frist declared his support of embryonic stem cell research while simultaneously defining his position on life: “I am pro-life. I believe human life begins at conception.” Just to clarify, that statement implies that life at conception, in the form of an embryo is deserving of the same value and protection as a five-year old boy or a 60-year old woman. It’s all life. It’s all a gift. It’s all worthy of living.

Only God Himself can determine its course, its start and its end. Just as we would never tolerate a neighbor or a stranger dictating how we are to raise our own children or coming into our homes to harm those precious lives, it would surely be arrogant, presumptuous and even evil to delineate between those we deem worthy to live and those who we consider better served by sacrificing their lives for the sake of “medical advancement.”

How can anyone hold the position that human life begins at conception and allow ANY form of experimentation that would harm, much less destroy, that life? How do we justify delineating between lives? Can we use embryonic cells from a baby aborted at eight months but not a prematurely born one at seven months? These are the questions we must answer if we are to consider such a crime against humanity if we dare destroy some lives in the name others.

“Whatever proportions these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated them that they had started from small beginnings. The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude…that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived…Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted and finally all non-Germans…” (Professor L Alexander, a consultant to the United States chief counsel for war crimes during Nazi doctors’ trial.)

God forbid that be our fate. We say we are enlightened. We are leaders in western civilization. People from around the world want to live like we do. They import everything from our music to our fashion and our movies. What value will we export in regards to life?

I call on all who value life to pray, to speak out and to call your Senator regarding this issue.

God is watching. The world is watching. And, history will judge us.

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About Lores Rizkalla

  • An article which compares the Nazi regime to reasonable people who hold a view that happens to not be your own is simply ridiculous. You’ve run afoul of Godwin’s Law within your initial post!

    As it happens, there was another post on this site yesterday from someone who pointed out the flip side of what you’re saying here: If you believe human life begins at conception, then what are we to do with all of the thousands of embryos that are created every year? The alternative to embryonic stem cell research is to destroy the embryos.

    That’s an interesting point, no?

  • copper

    “”An article which compares the Nazi regime to reasonable people who hold a view that happens to not be your own is simply ridiculous. You’ve run afoul of Godwin’s Law within your initial post””

    comments such as this one, would be in the same vein as those from the left who equate Bush with Hitler, and the troops as Nazi’s.
    It must be OK to do so, as long as is it from the “right side” of the debate, correct?
    I enjoyed the article and forwarded this site to many who will appreciate the value of the writer.

  • Copper, I can’t tell if your comment is directed at me or the author of this piece. If it is directed at me, as your appreciation of the article leads me to believe, you are demonstrating a gross ignorance of what I said.

    I have never compared the Nazi regime to anyone today: neither the current US administration, US troops, or the thousands of people who create embryos every year as part of infertility remedies. To do so is grotesque and reveals appalling ignorance of the atrocities of the Nazi regime’s human experimentation program.

  • billy

    “Only God Himself can determine its course”

    well in my view since god does not exist and the bible is a fraud, why should this have any relevance?

    it has no authority over my decision nor my government’s decision. read the first amendment, religion is banished. your narrow relgious view has no weight over a science that will save millions of lives despite your misinformation and attempt to stifle cures for sick and suffering people.

  • Eric Olsen

    I agree that a fertilized egg and a neonatal human being exist on the same continuum, but it’s the vast distance between them on the continuum that creates the equally vastly different moral duties owed each

  • gon

    human experimentation is not bad at all.because of it, many people, especially children were vaccinized against diseases.we were benefited from those products of human experimentaion.it provides an assurance and safety to a certain drug before it is published to the people.it connotes utilitarianism.