Johnson Compares Embyonic Stem Cell Research to Homicide | Wis.Community

Johnson Compares Embyonic Stem Cell Research to Homicide

Yesterday, AP reported that Ron Johnson said that he is not only morally opposed to embryonic stem cell research, but compared it to homicide:

My basic belief is you don't want to get in a situation where you're creating life though destroying it.

You heard that right:  In Johnson's view a microscopic embryo has the same value as an adult human being.  Or, put another way, if Johnson was holding a microscope slide with a microscopic embryo on it in one hand and was trying to save someone falling off a cliff with the other hand, he wouldn't drop the slide with the embryo to save the person falling off the cliff... because that would be "a situation where you're creating life through destroying it."  

Of course, Wisconsin is the world leader in embryonic stem cell research and shutting down such research would not only be a huge blow to scientific research, but also to the states economy:

Wisconsin would be more affected by the loss of federal funding than other states. A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor was the first to isolate the cells in 1998, and his work helped turn the city and surrounding communities into a center for stem-cell research.

Timothy Kamp, the director of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center at UW-Madison, said Wisconsin jobs could very possibly move elsewhere if federal funding came into question.

If scientists' research were to get tabled indefinitely they'd "be tempted to find out ways to make it possible," he said. "If that means moving, that means moving," perhaps overseas.

He said decisions on research funding should be left to scientists, who are in a better position to decide which projects show the most medical and economic promise.



October 2, 2010 - 11:11am