Philadelphia Inquirer: Posted on Fri, Jul. 21, 2006

Coerced funding

You ask: "So what's left to debate" (July 17) on federal stem-cell research funding? Simple: Should we coerce every citizen into funding a practice that many consider morally repugnant? Granted, that would not be without precedent. Defense funding is morally repugnant to many citizens, yet we tax individuals to provide for that public good. I would point out that only our federal government can provide for the common defense, whereas there are many private, state and foreign institutions funding stem-cell research in ways that violate the rules for federal funding.

Is stem-cell research both such a compelling public good and so difficult to undertake without federal funding that federal government should force all citizens to contribute to it regardless of ethical objections?

David Bookstaber