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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Immorality and Hope Seen in Stem-Cell Study

August 17, 2004

Re "False Hopes Beat No Hope," Commentary, Aug. 15: Michael Kinsley claims that Laura Bush's comments regarding stem-cell research were "embarrassingly silly and disingenuous." It is Kinsley's argument that is disingenuous.

He refers to embryonic tissue as "clumps of a few dozen cells" and "microscopic dots (which have fewer human characteristics than a potato)." It must be admitted that embryonic tissue falls far short of the accepted criteria for defining a human being. However, these cells are indeed living, human cells, and as such, constitute human life in its most rudimentary form. And it is precisely because these cells are both living and human that we value and covet them.

We should also honestly question and discuss how we, as a society, ever arrived at this place where we can even discuss without the slightest hint of embarrassment or shame the issue of "embryos being discarded" as if they were just so much garbage.

David Coles

Norwalk

Thank you Michael Kinsley for your enlightening and personal commentary regarding the Bush administration's and the first lady's stemming the hope and promise of stem-cell research. President Bush's ideological and political decision has been a killer of hope and has inspired me for personal reasons to do all that I can to defeat his second term.

My father died from Alzheimer's, making me a potential candidate for that disease, which might benefit from stem-cell research.

With hope on the way in November, I'm hopeful I'll be able to recall Bob Hope's theme song: "Thanks for the Memory."

Jerold Drucker

Tarzana

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