…and Baby Makes Four

It just doesn’t sound right.  

Scientists are working on a way to create a single baby using three people’s DNA, a technique they claim will avert passing on complicating healthy conditions related to improperly functioning mitochondria.  This is fascinating, since current British law outlaws such techniques, except in the case of research.  And fascinatingly enough, once “research” develops a procedure that has already been ruled unethical and non-permissible, permission is sought to revoke such bans and allow the procedure.
Regardless of the ethicalness of the actual procedure, I find it interesting that research is permitted (and undoubtedly publicly funded) on procedures that have already been ruled explicitly forbidden.  Why do we research something that is illegal?  Why is the public responsible for paying for research on procedures that are illegal?  Is the public permitted to know that their tax dollars are being used to fund research on procedures that are already illegal?  How happy would they be to know that their money is being used to fund things that are not legal?  Would they perhaps prefer their money to be spend on research that hasn’t already been ruled illegal?  Who stands to make money in this scenario?  I’m betting somebody does – at the taxpayer’s expense.  After all, if you can’t do the procedure in your own country, for the people who paid for your research, you can always patent it and sell the right to perform it elsewhere.  And I’m sure the monies generated from such an arrangement are funneled back to the taxpayers who made it all possible.  
And of course, this sort of research requires embryos.  Lots of them.  Lots of little people who many still believe aren’t really people because they are so small.  So conveniently small that they can’t scream, can’t stare back at the researchers, and don’t really function well as adorable and literal poster children to stop such research.  
Lots and lots of people killed to develop a procedure that everybody knows is already illegal, funded by taxpayers who probably don’t know that their tax dollars are being used in this way.  Sounds perfectly normal after all, doesn’t it?

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