16 August, 2007

Who is really behind the stem cells research opposition.

I think everyone should support this research. In fact, I think it is strange those who would benefit the most are not actively supporting it. Some examples:

  • Motorcycle makers. I can see the slogan already: "Just get a really good helmet, the rest we'll fix™. Guaranteed*". Every motorcycle could come with a full body replacement insurance, wouldn't that be great? All other extreme sports and activities providers should join. Of course, the ability to get a replacement for practically any body part would remove that certain chic that the extreme sports enjoy now, as the probability of death would be way lower, but I'm sure that between chic and parachute sales any self-respecting corporation would choose the former. Any day.

  • Departments of defense throughout the world. Training good soldiers is a long and expensive process, and I'm sure it would be quite a break-through if the same soldier could last virtually forever, getting new replacement organs. It'll be only the question of logistics: how to get the wounded off the field before irreversible brain damage. Recruitment would become much easier as well and draft avoidance would go down (where applicable).

  • Churches. Currently opposing the research, they might soon realize it is in their interest to actually support it. Why? Because with the wide availability of body replacement technology and the consequential proliferation of extreme sports (and wider enlistment), most deaths would become sudden and unexpected -- and therefore more scary. Certainly, many would wish to have some assurance for what's to follow -- just in case.

So who can be possibly against it? Doctors? No, they will still be needed to oversee the treatments and to detect problems for which the treatments are required. Nurses? They'll still do the actual administering of treatments, guided by doctors. Then who?

Possibly, the makers of the wheelchairs and such. They get to loose most of their business, but I'd expect them already to invest into stem-cell-based treatments, so they'd just move into an adjacent category... Just like tobacco companies bought food companies when they started to feel the heat.

It would seem the only group is teachers. And babysitters. Because longer lives might mean less babies, hence less work for them. They must be lobbying the parents who, not thinking about the benefits, lobby in turn the government. Therefore, here's a simple solution: just offer some pension guarantees to teachers and babysitters and there shouldn't be any more opposition to this promising new research.

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