MORAL VAL­UES

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

“We all knew [Pres­i­dent] Obama was go­ing to re­verse [for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W.] Bush’s pol­icy on fed­eral em­bry­onic stem­cell re­search, and now he’s done so,” Rod Dre­her writes in a blog at beliefnet.com.

“In his re­marks, he in­di­cated that he was turn­ing back what he char­ac­ter­ized as the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion’s at­tempts to let pol­i­tics in­ter­fere with sci­ence. The re­port­ing I’ve seen or heard (on NPR) [March 9] runs along the lines of this sub­hed in the Wash­ing­ton Post’s on­line ver­sion of the story: ‘Memo to Keep Pol­i­tics Out of Gov­ern­ment Sci­ence Ac­com­pa­nies Stem Cell Action.’

“What rot. Look, I strongly dis­agree with what Obama did [ . . .], be­cause I find it to be gravely im­moral (and un­nec­es­sary — look at all the sci­en­tific ad­vances on stem-cell re­search that does not re­quire tax­payer-funded ex­ter­mi­na­tion of hu­man life). Oth­ers be­lieve he did the right thing, and Bush’s action was im­moral. Fine,” Mr. Dre­her said.

“What chaps my bot­tom is the pre­tense that Obama and the [proem­bry­onic stem-cell re­search] folks have the morally neu­tral po­si­tion. They don’t. They are not keep­ing pol­i­tics (or moral­ity) out of sci­ence; they are only ap­ply­ing their own po­lit­i­cal and moral val­ues to the prac­tice of sci­ence. It’s called ap­plied bioethics,” Mr. Dre­her said.

“Be­ware peo­ple who try to claim that sci­ence is, and should be, morally neu­tral. When­ever pol­i­cy­mak­ers, both in gov­ern­ment and in the med­i­cal field, de­cide that this prac­tice will be per­mit­ted, but that won’t be, they are en­gaged in im­pos­ing moral val­ues on sci­ence. If you be­lieve sci­ence should not be sub­ject to the re­straints of moral­ity, but only to it­self, you had bet­ter make your apolo­gies to Dr. Men­gele.”

MICHAEL CON­NOR / THE WASH­ING­TON TIMES

An ad­min­is­tra­tion above crit­i­cism? “Pres­i­dent Obama’s team, un­like Bush’s team, demon­strates a thin­ness of skin that shocks me,” writes Jim Cramer of CNBC’s “Mad Money.”

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