To the Editor
: In general, it is not possible to espouse any position that is truly free of bias, including the one I shall mention at the end of this letter. That is certainly true of the article by Guenin
The morality of unenabled embryo use—arguments that work and arguments that don't.
on the morality of embryonic stem cell research.
I read Guenin's article with great interest, being both a physician and an ordained minister of the Roman Catholic Church. Guenin's argument from nonenablement appears to flow primarily from one simple premise, that the biologic mother of an embryo has the authority to decide that embryo's fate and can therefore offer it for research or for intrauterine development, at her own choice. This is a premise that permits yet another interpretation.
The other position is that there is no human being who has such authority, because such authority rests only in God. This is a position that certainly seems irrational to us limited-view human beings, who can see only the physical world around us. However, I believe it is the ultimate truth on which all the other arguments must be based. Given this premise, no argument would seem “acceptable” to allow embryonic research. In any case, this is the position from which the arguments must start. As stated previously, this is my personal bias, although it certainly dovetails with that of many others in our society, not just those in my own church community.
Undoubtedly, Guenin will claim some ability to read the mind of God in this regard, since he did so twice in his commentary. However, having admitted my own bias in this regard, I invite Guenin to admit his.
The morality of unenabled embryo use—arguments that work and arguments that don't.Mayo Clin Proc. 2004; 79: 801-808
© 2004 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.