Embryonic stem cell research and the Nazis

Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele has gotten himself into hot water by comparing the use of human embryonic stem cells in research to the experimentation on Jews by Nazi doctors in the Holocaust. He’s exactly right, but perhaps it wasn’t the best analogy to use when speaking to a Jewish audience. A quote from one of his opponents:

“To compare the scientists who are doing the research and the individuals who are ill, who see this as an opportunity to address and cure the illness, to compare that to the brutalization of [Josef] Mengele and other Nazi doctors is offensive and certainly an extremist view,” Rosenberg said.

This is a false analogy–Mr. Rosenberg is comparing apples and oranges, because he is blinded by the obviously heinous nature of Nazi crimes and cannot realize that experimentation on embryos is morally equivalent. I suspect there were quite a few German citizens that could have been helped by the results of Nazi camp doctor research. But, it’s hard to feel the same outrage at destruction of cells in a dish as it is at the killing of fully developed human beings. So, Lt. Gov. Steele should watch his words if he wants to win this U.S. Senate seat, where someone of his beliefs and rectitude could be an extremely powerful witness.

(HT: Amy Welborn)

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