Monday, July 6, 2009

Dumping the leftovers

Tomorrow is garbage day at our house, and that means that this afternoon the girls and I conducted the usual trash ritual: emptying out trash cans in various rooms, making sure the kitchen trash and recycling were removed and put in the outside cans, and cleaning out and dumping any leftovers from the fridge that were beyond the point where it would be safe to reheat and eat them.

I always know whether I'm doing a reasonably good job of kitchen economics when there aren't too many things to discard. A few remnants of side-dish vegetables which have already been reheated once isn't so bad; a dish of chicken that we just forgot about or the fixings for a "leftover night" casserole that I didn't get around to making wouldn't be good. This was one of the good weeks--there wasn't much to throw away, and what there was had already made an encore appearance on the dinner table and been mostly consumed.

I try to be realistic about saving leftovers. There's no point, I've found, in carefully storing a few tablespoons' worth of cooked vegetables unless I can combine them with others in a soup or casserole, for example. It's always nice to know that the leftovers you save won't just be thrown out, that they'll be used for a good purpose, right?

Apparently, the U.S. government feels that way about leftover people:

WASHINGTON, July 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. government released new rules on Monday governing federally funded research on human embryonic stem cells, loosening some ethical requirements that scientists said could have cost them a decade of work.

The rules, which take effect on Tuesday, keep many existing restrictions on the research. U.S. federal funds may still not be used to actually make the cells using human embryos -- only to work with the cells after someone else has made them.

But the National Institutes of Health, which issued the rules, eased some of the measures in the initial guidelines drawn up in March, including the so-called "informed consent" requirements meant to ensure that people who donated embryos for research knew exactly what they might be used for.

"We allow a case-by-case review," acting NIH director Dr. Raynard Kington told reporters in a telephone briefing. [...]

"The guidelines reflect the broad public support for federal funding of research using human embryonic stem cells created from such embryos based on wide and diverse debate on the topic in Congress and elsewhere," the new rules say.

They limit such research to these in vitro fertilization or IVF leftovers but also loosen restrictions on using human embryonic stem cells made in other countries.

In April when the initial guidelines were published some scientists said the "informed consent" rules on educating embryo donors were so strict that they might force labs to discard valuable stem cell batches, called lines.

"The draft guidelines that were released were so restrictive that I feared the vast majority of lines would be excluded," Dr. George Daley of Harvard University in Massachusetts said in a telephone interview. He said the revised rules answer his concerns.

I suppose some people who use IVF might be upset about this. Sure, they planned on their leftovers being used in research in some way, but they may have wanted to retain their informed consent privileges. They may not like the idea that their IVF child's siblings are being used to increase the profits of research labs and perhaps, eventually, drug companies.

Tough. When you decide to manufacture a child using IVF you've already done the unthinkable: elevated your own desire for a child, a natural enough desire in itself, into something that is so monstrously selfish that you don't care how many tiny offspring you have to create--and destroy--in order to have one successful pregnancy (if you even achieve that goal; IVF is notoriously unreliable, especially in somewhat older women who are usually the ones determined to use it, and able to afford it). Whether your child's extra, unwanted siblings get dumped in the trash or turned into the secret ingredient in a new hair-growth formula has nothing to do with your desires; you've already made it perfectly clear that you are willing to treat your children like objects, and that once you've achieved your goal of parenthood the rest of the objects can be discarded in any way, like the leftovers they are.

Embryonic stem-cell research is a gravely evil thing, and no one who is involved in it is free of the risk of the loss of his immortal soul. But ESCR wouldn't even be possible without the equally evil thing called IVF. People so blinded by their desire to be parents that they will sacrifice multiple unborn children in the hope of having one survive a pregnancy have already handed over their other children to the demonic evil that ESCR feeds, with its lust for profit and its false promises of medical cures that might not ever even materialize. People who hand their children over to Moloch don't get "informed consent" as to whether Moloch burns their children alive or cuts out their hearts first; Moloch gets to decide.

3 comments:

LarryD said...

Well written, Erin.

And it will get worse - such as the state (or companies) paying women to donate their eggs. I think such a plan was floated in New York State back in June.

Evil begets evil.

Chrystal K. said...

One giant leap for mankind.

Sarah said...

At any rate, I liked some of the NIH cartoons on VADLO search engine!