before you call MDA

John A. Quayle blueoval at SGI.NET
Mon Sep 4 12:03:23 MDT 2000


At 03:27 AM 9/4/00 -0700, Jim Nantz wrote:
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>Just now while channel surfing I came across the Jerry Lewis telethon.

         Who is hosting it, now? Is Jerry's son (Gary) hosting? Jerry's
long-gone, right?

>They had some black lady on there who was going on about all the wonderful
>advances possible through pursuing stem cell research.  However she failed
>to mention where the stem cells come from.

         On purpose.....check this out:

Life's Been Good
  by John Quayle
  August 8, 2000

              Looking back through the four decade span that my life has
been spread over, medical technology and science have accomplished things
that are, well.....simply astonishing. Life expectancy has been greatly
improved. Pre-natal surgery is now possible. We are winning the war against
cancer. Arteries can now be cleared of clogging debris.

              Thanks to Dr. Christian Bernard's skilled hands and mind in
transplanting a human heart in 1967 into a South African dentist,
transplants are now "normal", rather than wild fiction. There have been so
many technological advances over the last 40 years, it would be an
exhaustive and nearly prohibitive mission to list them all here. We can
look forward to more mind-boggling advances occurring even in the
foreseeable future.

              All of this is great..............or is it? Medical science
has become so wondrous and simultaneously complex, that we are left
slack-jawed, misty-eyed and inquisitive about ethical issues and
repercussions. Where are the lines being drawn, if anywhere? Are there
medical "cops" who are looking out for what's right and wrong, or will the
sky be the limit?

              Some of the most innocent actions have permitted nauseating
and hideous manipulation. As transplanting organs have lengthened life
expectancy for many, quite naturally, there have been requests for donors
to come forward. In many states, one can have organ donor status noted on
their driver's license. Unfortunately, this has loaned itself to marketing
body parts - both adult and children's organs. I have seen several
instances where actual price lists have been discovered, as well as methods
of payment that skirt the technicality of written law.

              What has fueled this grisly practice is Bill Clinton's
Executive Order from January of 1993, legalizing fetal tissue
experimentation. Roughly a year later, the technique of "partial birth
abortion" was introduced as a means of recovering whole human bodies,
rather than the shredded and unusable results that traditional vacuum
abortion methods left behind. While many folks have serious problems with
the practice of abortion (including me), even supporters of "a woman's
right to choose" have labeled PBA as "infanticide".

              The value of life has been profoundly cheapened. Children
were once thought of as gifts from God. Now, they have been reduced to the
status of an auto salvage yard. Need a new bumper.....er, I mean a liver? A
new heart? Maybe a pancreas? No problem. These items can be had for a
price. While the average price of $5,000 isn't for the faint of wallet,
there is an incalculable hidden cost paid for by society over time, for
this  degradation. If a fetus is truly "just a bunch of cells and tissue",
then how is it possible to harvest human body parts from these so-called
"blobs"? More than a few so-called "scientists" have made public statements
on the concept of "the duty to die".

              Hollywood is complicit in this modern day atrocity. The
latest to jump on the fetal tissue bandwagon is actor Michael J. Fox. The
young TV personality recently made his battle with Parkinson's public, for
which he deserves a good measure of sympathy. The disease is hell. Advanced
stages bring on severe tremor, dementia and even paranoia. Other notable
sufferers include the Holy Father, Pope John Paul, II and federal Attorney
General, Janet Reno. To further public awareness, Fox has decided to walk
away from a fairly successful acting career, so that he can establish and
oversee a foundation (bearing his name, http://www.michaeljfox.org) that
focuses on finding a cure for Parkinson's. So far, expensive medication can
only mask the symptoms for so long.

              So, the big question remains, what do we do? Even the
practice of transplanting has been fraught with ethical violations and
abuses. Five years ago, for example, Hall of Fame baseball slugger Mickey
Mantle was dying from liver disfunction, brought on by many years of heavy
alcohol consumption. Was Mantle placed on a waiting list? Nope. Finding a
liver for Mantle became a high priority. Don't get me wrong. Nobody enjoyed
Mantle's baseball exploits more than I did. The sad fact remains that the
legendary Yankee brought his illness on through his own foolish behavior.
As Mickey explained during his final days, he and his friends (ex-teammate
Whitey Ford being among them) used to drink screwdrivers as "an eye-opener"
- Mantle's own choice of words - and continuously drink throughout the rest
of the day.

              This leads us to try to determine whose life is more
important than another's and I personally don't even feel a sitting
President deserves to get preferential treatment in this regard.
Transplantation is veering down an even darker path. In Great Britain,
scientists are attempting to perfect head transplantation - I kid you not!
Preliminary work has been done on Rhesus monkeys. Christopher Reeve has
been a big proponent of this procedure. And Hollywood is also getting
preferential treatment, as stars like Reeve, Fox and others have lobbied
Congress for more funding for these sorts of medical adventures. None of us
are even likely to get so much as the time of day from our own
representatives and senators - unless it's election time, obviously.

              We are becoming predatory beings, set to strengthen ourselves
at the expense of society's weaker element. We should feel ashamed.

              For some perspective, please visit these URLs:
  http//www.newsandevents.utoronto.ca/bin/thoughts/forum000515.asp

  http//www.nationalpost.com/commentary.asp?f=000104/168291

  http//www.etsu-tn.edu/philos/faculty/john/dutydie.htm<x-html

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