Fetal Tissue Research

tivol at tethys.ph.albany.edu tivol at tethys.ph.albany.edu
Thu Jun 2 11:48:14 EST 1994

Sherry Butler asks why we should care about the disposition of fetal tissue.
The Reagan and Bush administrations banned fetal tissue research because the
religious right claims that such research makes abortion more likely.  I'm
sure they did so under the impression that political gains would accrue.
That, I suppose, is why *they* should care.  My view is that tissue is tissue
and if a good use can be made of something which otherwise would be discarded
it would be foolish and even against my religion *not* to make use of it.
This also applies to my own tissue; when I'm no longer using it, I hope some-
one else can.  To allow someone to die or suffer needlessly--as happens with
some Parkinsons patients--when this can be ameliorated or prevented, seems to
me to fly in the face of all I was taught about God, society and our obliga-
tions as human beings.  There is, and definitely should be, a difference be-
tween what is legally proscribed and what is ethically proscribed.  I hope
that no legal barriers are ever put in place which prohibit me from acting in
a manner which I consider ethical, and I hope that applies to all members of
my society.  If someone who feels fetal research is wrong wishes not to have
a fetal tissue transplant, I support their right not to have it; however, I
do not support their "right" to forbid me from realizing any benefits of that

					Sincerely yours,

					Bill Tivol

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