Editor's Column: Stem cells deserve equal rights

Mildred: Wake up Marvin and get your feet off the dog. There’s big news: Embryonic stem cell research could help Aunt Alma’s Alzheimer’s and Cousin Phil’s Parkinson, and millions of other people like them.

Marvin: Sorry, Mildred, but such research is immoral. Embryonic stem cells are fully human, just like our life-loving leader says, so we can’t touch’em. Nature will just have to work its way with Aunt Alma and Cousin Phil, unfortunate as that may be.

Mildred: I don’t know about that Marvin. Those cells are so tiny, I can’t imagine them as human.

Marvin: You have to look at them through a microscope. If you squint, you’ll see they’re wearing tiny tank tops and Nikes, and they’re listening to their iPods. I’ll admit people like this aren’t too productive, but they deserve a chance at life.

Mildred: Marvin, sometimes I can never tell when you’re kidding me.

Marvin: That’s a fact, Mildred. We need to recognize human life at the most basic level, and make sure that full human rights are afforded to all, regardless of size.

Mildred: So I suppose you’re saying some of our older embryonic stem cells should be able to vote? I was reading an article that said the first embryonic stem cells were created in the laboratory back in the early ‘80s, and since then they’ve been freezing more every year. They don’t use nearly as many as they create. Count on your fingers Marvin and see if that doesn’t mean that hundreds, maybe thousands, must be at least 18 years old by now.

Marvin: Now you’re talking like a real human-life advocate Mildred. Being fully human and 18, those frozen embryonic stem cells should indeed be able to vote.

Mildred: Marvin, sometimes you can never tell when I’m kidding you.

Marvin: No Mildred, this time you inadvertently hit the nail on the stem cell. I’m calling party headquarters right now and I’m sure that in a few months someone in Congress will introduce a bill to protect the rights of embryonic stem cells, including the right to vote.

Mildred: But how can they vote? They’re frozen stiff.

Marvin: All you have to do to vote is be fully human, 18 and conceived in America. The Voting Rights Act says nothing about having to be thawed.

Mildred: But Marvin, they can’t even think. How are they going to vote?

Marvin: By absentee ballot, of course. Get them from King County, they’ll count anything.

Mildred: Marvin, I don’t know how you can get so worked up about the rights of embryonic stem cells while Aunt Alma and Cousin Phil are wasting away from their diseases.

Marvin: We can’t morally interfere with nature, Mildred. Now get me the TV remote please. It’s time for Sean Hannity on FOX.

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