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Letter: Fetal Tissue Research

Alex Weisskopf's exposition in defense of fetal tissue research (The Scientist, Nov. 13, 1989, page 15) was masterful. By applying his suggested guidelines to this "socially sensitive" issue, he assures us we can allay the fears of the public and our own conscience in engaging in fetal tissue research. Not surprisingly, Weisskopf neatly skirted the central issue. His assertion that those who vocally object to the use of abortuses obtained through elective abortion are attempting to force "their

Keith Crutcher

Alex Weisskopf's exposition in defense of fetal tissue research (The Scientist, Nov. 13, 1989, page 15) was masterful. By applying his suggested guidelines to this "socially sensitive" issue, he assures us we can allay the fears of the public and our own conscience in engaging in fetal tissue research. Not surprisingly, Weisskopf neatly skirted the central issue. His assertion that those who vocally object to the use of abortuses obtained through elective abortion are attempting to force "their religious views into law" is apparently meant to discredit the moral argument against abortion. However, the guidelines that Weisskopf proposes are as "religious" as the premise taken by the "antiabortionist camp," if by that we mean an a priori assumption of ethics or values. Weisskopf makes some remarkable statements along this line. "There is no fundamental moral concept that interdicts the use of fetal tissues." "Fetal tissues . . ....

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