Letter to the Editor

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

While I agree with Joe Bialek’s support for embryonic stem cell research, as indicated in his letter to the editor (April 13), I disagree with the method by which he arrives at that conclusion.

While I agree with Mr. Bialek that life begins at conception, it does not follow that “those conceived under the laws of the United States are protected by the Constitution.” Constitutional protections only apply to individuated human beings, not to entities that are physiologically dependent fetuses or embryos.

Also, Mr. Bialek’s appeal to sacrifice as a justification for embryonic stem cell research is an incorrect method for arguing the benefits of stem cell research, for one could counter his appeal to sacrifice with the contention that those suffering from diseases potentially amenable to stem cell therapy should sacrifice for the sake of embryos.

Ultimately, stem cell research is justified not by sacrifice, but by the fact that an embryo possesses no rights and therefore has no right to life.

Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., Industrial Management, 1995