I recommend:

Brave New Bioethics

My podcast in which I discuss issues relating to human exceptionalsism, bioethics, and everything else we consder here at Secondhand Smoke.

The Discovery Institute

My controversial think tank. See what the fuss is all about.

The International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

The best single source for information on euthanasia and assisted suicide, with an opposing perspective.

The Center for Bioethics and the Culture (CBC)

Equipping people of traditional Judeo/Christian faith to understand the importance of bioethics and biotechnology.

The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity (CBHD)

The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity exists to help individuals and organizations address the pressing bioethical challenges of our day, including managed care, end-of-life treatment, genetic intervention, euthanasia, and reproductive technologies (from a distinctly Christian perspective).


Your global information source on bioethics news and issues.

Choosing Tomorrow

Nigel Cameron's blog on "emerging technologies," in which the bioethicist strives to help forge "consensus and stability as we move into the Techno Century."

Bioethics Defense Fund

A bioethics law and policy organization whose mission is address the human rights violations involved in contemporary bioethical issues.

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (Canada) prepares a broadly based network of groups and individuals as an effective social barrier against euthanasia and assisted suicide.


A very thorough, well organized, and easily accessed on-line research library stocked with articles and primary source materials about euthanasia, assisted suicide, and related issues, from an opposing perspective.

The Human Future

Jennifer Lahl's blog about the Brave New World

Hands Off Our Ovaries

Pro choice and pro life feminists protecting women in biotechnological research.

Human Life Matters

The blog of Mark Pickup. Disability rights and pro life advocacy from a committed Christian whose "views stand in stark contrast with a world of utility, autonomy and cost-benefit-analysis."

Compassionate Healthcare Network (CHN)

CHN provides educational services through all forms of media to all persons regarding the inherent absolute value of all human life.

The Center for Genetics and Society

Left leaning think tank supports benign medical applications of the new human genetic and reproductive technologies, while opposing the commidification of human life.

The Altered Nuclear Transfer (ANT) Website

A Website dedicated to answering questions about this potential alternative to embryonic stem cell resesearch.

The Terri Schindler-Sciavo Foundation

Run by Terri Schiavo's parents and siblings, "a non-profit group dedicated to ensuring the rights of disabled, elderly and vulnerable citizens against care rationing, euthanasia and medical killing."

Not Dead Yet

Disability Rights activism, raw and to the point.

Physicians for Compassionate Care

PCC promotes compassionate care for severely-ill patients without sanctioning or assisting their suicide. Members affirm an ethic based on the principle that all human life is inherently valuable.

Center for Consumer Freedom

The Center for Consumer Freedom is PETA's worst nightmare. This scrappy, industry funded, non profit, tells the terrible truth about the animal liberation movement.

Americans for Medical Progress

A non-profit organizatoin whose mission is to promote public understanding of and support for the appropriate role of animals in biomedical research.


Mainstream bioethics thinking: enter at your own risk!

National Catholic Bioethics Center

Bioethics research and advocacy from the Catholic side of the street.


A good, objective source of information about bioethics and biotech.

Links to my latest books:

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Medical Researchers Under Terrorist Threat

I have noticed lately that the weekly and bi-weekly newspapers are beginning to do the best reporting, particularly in areas which the MSM ignore (such as this assisted suicide story from Oregon) or to which, they give too short shrift. (I had an extensive interview recently by a reporter from a weekly in another state about a terrible assisted suicide case. More about that when the story comes out.)

This story about the terrorist harassment of two UCLA medical researchers published in the LA Weekly is another splendid example. It not only details the bombing attempts that could have killed the terrorists' intended targets, but illustrates the necessary cost sometimes paid to animals as we strive to find cures for debilitating human conditions:
ONE THING IS FOR SURE — the situation at UCLA, where doctors care for patients with severe eye disorders at the globally respected Jules Stein center, is getting downright creepy. "There has been an escalation of inflamed rhetoric over the years, and now there’s an escalation of violence," says Eimiller. "We're concerned that it’s only a matter of time someone will get hurt or killed."

UCLA--and major facilities like it--clearly have no intention of ending animal experimentation. Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams declared in a June 28 statement, “UCLA remains steadfast in its commitment to the lawful use of laboratory animals in research for the benefit of society.” Abrams also notes that the university abides by strict federal laws and is subject to federal inspection.

Research at the Jules Stein Eye Institute has led to advances in gene therapies to treat inherited, blindness-causing diseases, and UCLA is credited with a breakthrough for curing visual loss in patients with the eye disease known as Stargardt's. Rosenbaum and its other leading physicians who do key work on such diseases have plenty of supporters.

But some of the experiments have been gruesome. Most notably, Rosenbaum's have involved shooting Botox into the eyes of fully conscious rhesus monkeys. In another case, when a vervet monkey was strapped in a metal cage, the terrified animal reacted by biting its tongue, banging its head, and chipping its teeth. The monkey wounded itself so badly that it had to be euthanized. On the less tragic end, mice were given shots of Accutane, a drug used to treat acne, which helped advance gene therapies for blind Stargardt's patients...Rosenbaum is trying to cure severely crossed eyes in humans — a debilitating condition that can also lead to blindness.

[Jerry] Vlasak [who justifies murder of researchers] insists the experiments with rhesus monkeys and cats are unnecessary-- a claim the vice chancellor meets with open disgust. "They’re always using these things in a way to hype it up!" Peccei says.
We wince at the experiments reported in the story and the unfortunate accident with the monkey. But the goal is important and so we shouldn't judge based on such disclosures alone. We also need to see the purpose. Indeed, this whole matter reminds me of the infamous "Silver Springs Monkey Case," an early PETA-inspired debacle, in which a researcher's life was nearly ruined because animal rights activists objected to research that required the severing of the nerves in the limbs of monkeys. Taken alone, that seems cruel. But the result: As I wrote in "A Monkey for Your Grandmother" in NRO, an extremely effective treatment for the debilitation caused by stroke and other disabling conditions.

Animal researchers are not sadists. They are trying to alleviate human suffering. Moreover, there are regulations in place to ensure this is done ethically. When it isn't, it should be punished. But the goal of the liberationists is to end all use of animals in any research. The animal rights fanatics that would impeded this work with threats and terrorism, are not only thugs, they are anti-human.



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