Friday, July 29, 2005

Frist, Stem Cells and Bioethics

Today it hit most papers that Bill Frist -- in a break from President Bush -- has backed the most recent stem cell bill ... sayest Frist ...

"I am pro-life," Frist plans to say in the speech, arguing that he can reconcile his support for the science with his Christian faith. "I believe human life begins at conception."

But at the same time, he says, "I also believe that embryonic stem cell research should be encouraged and supported."

Interesting take at ACE's blog, Reformation 21, by Christian bioethics expert Nigel Cameron ... Bill Frist, Nigel Cameron and Bioethics ... sayest Cameron ...

Remember the anguished hand-wringing in the 50s over Who lost China? Well, the biggest question facing Americans today is: Who lost bioethics?

Because lost it we have. "Bioethics," a made-up word from the early 70s, covers everything from abortion to euthanasia to stem cells and cloning. It's the debate about medicine and ethics and biology and public policy.

... and ...

In the wide-ranging book on The Secular Revolution (edited by Christian Smith, 2003), one chapter lets John H. Evans explain the bioethics story - how something so close to the hearts of religious Americans on such vital issues ended up almost entirely in the hands of the secular elite.

One central problem, of course, is that we walked out. There is no question that a chief agent of secularization in American culture has been "conservative" Christians. They have withdrawn from the fray faster than anyone has pushed them out. And there is no better example than in the field of bioethics. If here, where human life is most immediately at stake - and where we have deployed such energetic political and caring resources to the question of abortion - we have failed to develop expertise and leadership, is it a surprise that in other areas of the culture we keep sensing that we are losing it?