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STEMCELL 6'?m3f Abortion, death penalty, stem cell research

(scene: podium and table with several chairs)

(all characters wear business suits)

AMY -- (enters, sits at table)

LIZ -- (enters, crosses to podium, pounds gavel) The committee 
on medical ethics will come to order. We will now resume 
testimony on this issue of human stem cell research. Our next 
witness will be (reads) Katherine McConnell. (looks around) 
Katherine McConnell. (looks around) Katherine McConnell. 
(pauses) Well, according to the rules, we'll proceed to the next 
name on the list. Is (reads) Amy Johnson here? (sits at table)

AMY -- Yes. (steps up to podium with folded piece of paper,
holds it high) I had several things to say about the morality of
research using stem cells from human beings. But the other
speakers very eloquently pointed out that extracting stem cells
from living human fetuses causes the death of a human being. So,
I will limit my comments to the NECESSITY of using stem cells
from human fetuses. Stem cell research is not new. It has been
carried on for years using stem cells from umbilical cords,
human placentas and bone marrow. The fact is, there is no
shortage of human stem cells.

LIZ -- Then why are we even considering the use of stem cells
from human fetuses?

AMY -- The only reason I can see for going after fetal stem
cells is to give the sagging abortion industry a boost in
business.

LIZ -- So it would appear.

AMY -- That's all I have to say. Thank you to the medical ethics
committee. (sits)

LIZ -- (steps up to podium) Okay. That was the last of the
testimonies on the issue of human fetal stem cell research. This
committee will now hear testimony on the feasibility of
mandatory organ donations by death row inmates. The first
spokesman on the witness list is (reads) Katherine McConnell.
(looks around) Katherine McConnell. (looks around) Katherine
McConnell. (pauses) Well, according to the rules,... (looks down 
at list)

KAT -- (enters hurriedly through audience crosses to podium) I'm
sorry I'm late. My car had a flat tire on the way here. My
apologies to the medical ethics committee for any inconvenience.

LIZ -- Katherine McConnell?

KAT -- Yes. I'm not to late, am I?

LIZ -- Ah, no, we had not called our next witness as yet.
(points to podium, backs away) The podium is all yours.

KAT -- (steps up to podium, digs into briefcase pulls out two
file folders) Thank you. And my sincere thanks to the medical
ethics committee for allowing me to testify about this important
issue. (holds one folder in each hand, looks back and forth at
each twice, drops one, opens the other) Yes, well, where do I
begin? I don't think I have to remind the committee how
important these organs and tissues are to the recipients and
that countless lives could be saved by harvesting them.

LIZ -- Excuse me, but your testimony today seems to be a
reversal from the stand your organization previously took on
this issue.

KAT -- (scans file folder) No. Our stand is clear. Not only will
these tissues and organs save lives, but, these tissues and
organs will just go to waste anyway, the donors will die anyway.
Why waste a perfectly good resource?

LIZ -- Weren't you quoted last week as calling this proposed
donation (reads) "a barbaric procedure"? And didn't you say that
(reads) "no civilized society should take a life to save a
life"?

KAT -- No. I was talking there about mandatory organ donations
from death row inmates.

LIZ -- That's what we're talking about here.

KAT -- (pause) Oh. I... Oh. (closes file folder, opens other
folder) I'm sorry. I... Well, of course, we're still opposed to
mandatory organ donations from death row inmates.

LIZ -- But you support mandatory tissue and organ donations from
unborn babies?

KAT -- Well, of course.

LIZ -- Aren't you being inconsistent?

KAT -- (opens and examines both folders) I don't think so. We
oppose capital punishment. If we supported mandatory organ
donations during capital punishment, we would be supporting
capital punishment.

LIZ -- Let me get this straight. You support the taking of
organs that will kill an innocent unborn child, but you oppose
the same treatment for someone who is guilty of murder.

KAT -- Yes. I suppose... if you want to use those words...

LIZ -- Use your own words.

KAT -- We oppose government support of the taking of a human
life unless he's innocent. No. Let me rephrase that. We support
the mandatory tissue and organ donations if and only if the
individual has no lawyer and is incapable of defending itself...
No. Let me rephrase that.  We don't support the taking of human
life.

LIZ -- A fetus is a human life.

KAT -- No it's not!

LIZ -- A fetus meets all the criteria for both life and
humanity. It is alive, that is, it metabolizes, it grows, and if 
allowed to mature, it would reproduce. And its DNA contains all 
the characteristics of an adult human: Her hair color, the cleft 
in her chin, the freckles on her face, even her temperament are 
all predetermined at conception. That constitutes both life and 
humanity, doesn't it?

KAT -- Well, if you want to use those words.

LIZ -- Use your own words.

KAT -- All I know is that the government sponsored killing of a
human being by the taking of his tissues and organs is barbaric.

LIZ -- So, to be consistent you would have to oppose mandatory
organ donations from death row inmates AND from unborn babies.

KAT -- Absolutely not! We want a woman to be the only person in
society to be able to kill a baby, as long as it's her own baby.
If human fetal research will make that more popular, it's fine
with us! Thank you. (exits)

LIZ -- (steps up to podium) Okay, our next witness is (reads)
Amy Johnson. (sits)

AMY -- (steps up to podium) I was merely going to remind the
committee that any decision we make on medical ethics should be
CONSISTENT. But I think the previous witness has made my case
better than I could. Thank you. (exits)

LIZ -- (steps up to podium) This committee meeting is adjourned.
(pounds gavel, exits)
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