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October 06, 2015


What is missing from the appeal is the issue of volition. If I would desire to give permission to use my organs, such would be be made apparent on my forms of ID. This is a matter of gaining control of organs without individual permission. Much the same as if, on a request for organ material, I would shoot the next person around the corner coming my way. Voila! body parts!

What is missing from the appeal is the lack of opportunism in the transaction. If such is an act of noble sacrifice, the sacrifice to gain organ material should be gratis. In the world of PP, this is hardly the case. Much like, in keeping with the whack analogy of the first paragraph, I would demand a "shooter's fee" and the doctor harvesting the organs would submit a bill for professional services.

There is an element of coldness and aloofness in the whole suggestion, as if we must find some way to place a smiley face sticker on a sorry situation. Beware, vegans and animal rights advocates! A modification of this argument could ennoble the lost lives of slaughtered animals that grace the tables of those vile "carnivores" among us. Such a line of argumentation has so much "stretch."

Such a bizarre challenge in that it begins ...
Even though abortion is wrong.

Even though abortion is wrong, isn’t selling the tissue and organs to further medical research a good thing? Aren’t we at least making something good out of a bad situation?

Well, why do you think abortion is wrong?

well, abortion is killing babies

So, you think abortion is killing babies and we ought to be able to kill babies and sell their body part to further medical research, is that correct?

Well, if they are going to be aborted anyway, shouldn't we try to do some good even if we think abortion is wrong?

So, if I have a 2 year old and I decide that she is too much of a burden, I should be able to kill her and sell her body parts for medical research according to your view right? I mean, she's going to die anyway, might as well have some good come out of it right?

While this may seem elementary, I believe the tactical approach is still best in that I can demonstrate the absurdity of the view by asking a clarifying question [why do you think abortion is wrong] and then taking the roof off by giving back the view the person has stated.

First, I would tell the challenger thanks for recognizing that abortion is a bad situation. Killing people is indeed wrong. Now, I realize that perhaps the challenger doesn't actually believe it's a bad situation, however:

1) It's helpful to point out that their argument is based on this.
2) It could establish an ideological precedent for future argument.
3) If their purpose, which they may argue, is to point out a flaw in my own thinking, then I would have to call a straw man flag on the play. They misrepresent my thinking.

So, having established that I believe abortion is wrong based on the intrinsic value of human life, especially that we are created in the image of God, it is helpful to recognize that research that improves medicine and prolong human lives in a good way is largely a good endeavor. (Many may say that medicine "saves" lives, but we have to recognize that we are all bound to die, so I think it more accurate to say that medicine "prolongs" lives - and possibly relieves suffering to some degree.)

The question them becomes whether the harvesting of organs from aborted babies is moral.

Now the wording specifies the "sale" of organs. This provides a profit motive beyond any moral motive. Indeed, if there were no profit for harvesting organs, there would be an expense that would dissuade the harvesting of organs that somebody needs to cover. This expense is in the method of abortion as well as the dissection of the baby to obtain organs after the fact and the handling of the organs in such a way as to preserve them for later use.

However, even without a profit motive, I'll argue that the demand for infant organs may be enough to drive the push for abortion, so let's think about just that. The question then boils down to this:

Is it right to kill some people in order to prolong the lives of other people?

One can make a case for a just war example. Dropping atomic bombs on Japan killed some people, even civilians not actively engaged in waging war, to prolong the lives of many more.

However, there is a significant difference between Japan and an abortion clinic. The United States never desired to kill Japanese in the first place, but were driven to it out of civil self-defense because the Japanese were determined to kill Americans. If an abortion mill were equated to Japan, it would be like saying that as long as Japan were going to kill Americans, we might as well let them use the bodies of the Americans they killed in order to prolong the lives of Japanese.

WWII demonstrates how governing officials do not bear the sword in vain. It is right to defend the defenseless (unborn babies) against those who would kill them (their own mothers and the abortionists) and ridiculous to suggest that those who wish to kill them (those already born) should benefit from their deaths so as to perpetuate the killing. If it's right to prolong someone's life, it's wrong to kill someone else on that same basis.

Question for you all: If there was a pledge similar to a DNR that said you would refuse any kind of medical treatment that had used fetal tissue in its research, would you sign it and abide by it?

Question for you all: If there was a pledge similar to a DNR that said you would refuse any kind of medical treatment that had used fetal tissue in its research, would you sign it and abide by it?

Would such an agreement change the fact that a baby had been murdered and it's body parts sold to research such treatments?


The question is an interesting one, but has no bearing on this discussion. For example, several vaccines were originally developed using aborted fetal tissue. Does that mean that I am complicit in the abortion that took place nearly 55 years ago when I get my flue shot? I don't think so.

The question at hand is, "even if good may come out of medical research done using retail fetal tissue, does that justify the means by which the tissue was obtained?" If your answer is yes, then you are in the company of those who gave syphilis to sharecroppers in the 1930's and 40's, and the doctors who infected female prisoners with viral hepatitis to study the course of the disease and find a treatment, or the doctors who caused liver damage in children while studying the effectiveness of an acne treatment, etc, etc, etc.

I'm not sure, but I don't think that's a group of which one wants to become a member.

Isn't "for the greater good" the catch phrase of totalitarian despots throughout history? We've learned the folly of ends-justify-the-means arguments at the cost of millions and millions of people's lives.

Why doesn't it work?

Because the logic behind the challenge dehumanizes babies into sell-able, buy-able, own-able commodities that the owners are free to do with as they please. (We actually have a word for this: slavery.) Even if cures or treatments result, they result at the cost, not just of these particular human lives, but at the cost of humanity itself.

Once we begin defining certain kinds of humans as something that can be exploited for utilitarian (for the greater good) purposes, all "classes" of humans are at risk of being defined exploitable.

"Even though slavery is wrong, isn’t forced labor of slaves to reduce labor costs a good thing? Aren’t we at least making something good out of a bad situation?"

Agree anyone? See, if you replace abortion with something that is universally acknowledged as a bad, such as slavery, then the issue is clarified.

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