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Correspondence

June 30, 2002

To the editor:

Abraham Verghese's review of Joel Havemann's "A Life Shaken" and Michael J. Fox's " Lucky Man" (June 16) refers to the movement opposing stem-cell research as "this Luddite trend." The Luddites who smashed weaving machines at the beginning of the 19th century were not opposed to progress per se, but rather to rampant unrestrained industrialization, which they wisely foresaw (and personally experienced) as leading to dehumanization and social upheaval. The Luddites themselves would welcome advances in science and medicine intended to alleviate human suffering.

Miriam Elkins

Los Angeles

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