Report on Embryonic Experimentation
by Jesika Asaro
Approximately seventy years ago a brilliant man by the name of Aldous Huxley
saw the future of embryonic experimentation; the future was bleak, gray, and,
above all, ugly. In his Brave New World, Huxley builds a technologically
advanced society in which a government that has, through embryonic research,
already discovered all the secrets of human creation and development. Using
their knowledge for the sake of science and for the sake of stability in
society, the government breeds humans as if they were animals. These people are
bred with no identity, with no home or family, with no personality. These
humiliated people are molded into whatever society "needs" for them to be. These
concepts addressed in this novel are fundamentally contrary to all of human
life; thus the truths of Brave New World, and the violent reactions to
this novel, have caused it to be banned in many states. Humanity has not changed
so much in the past seventy years; still to this day the reactions of readers of
this novel are horrified, and rightly so. Not one person could possibly actually
desire to be in the position of the "test tube babies." Not one person wants to
be perceived as one who would enslave a generation of people in such a way. So,
why is it that the United States government, a government standing for freedom,
has, in the same way as the government of Huxley's society, allowed Mary Doe to
be the victim of embryonic experimentation?
The arguments supporting that Mary Doe ought to be able to live the life she
is meant to live are manifold, universal, and timeless. The arguments supporting
that Mary Doe ought to be die for science are few, selfish, and temporary.
Mary Doe ought to live because, by process of elimination of all other
species, she is human. Her age makes her no less "sub-human" than a teenager's
age makes him or her sub-human. In some states in the American Society,
teenagers as young as 13 can be tried as adults for heinous crimes. This
exemplifies how little age means in regard to the personhood of a person.
Mary Doe and others similarly situated have had their dignity stolen from
them; they have been violated in a manner universally abhorred and feared. They
are being denied the basic inalienable rights consisting of life, liberty and
the pursuit of property as enumerated by John Locke. They are being locked up in
concentration cans, putting their lives on hold and stripping them of their
rights, their rights that though they conflict with no other person's basic
rights, are being stripped of them nevertheless. They are being cruelly punished
with death though they have had no trial and committed no crime. To take away
this people's human dignity is to undermine the dignity of every single being in
humanity today, in humanity in the past, and, most significantly, in humanity in
the future. What argument can the flip side have that can possible hold any
Does Mary Doe lack standing before the court simply because she is young?
Does her youth rob her of her humanity? If it does, then what reason can
embryonic experimenters provide for their use of her? By their very desire to
use Mary, they are admitting her full humanity. Should not the court system
rooted in a government for the people, a government by the people, a government
standing for liberation especially from exploitation, rush to her side simply
due to her humanity?
Does Mary Doe's temporary "safety" inside of a can mean that she is not
violated? One does not need to be assaulted him or herself to seek refuge from
an attacker. Likewise, Mary Doe should not have to have been victimized by
killers to seek refuge from her experimenters.
Does an obviously disinterested parent have, by virtue of his or her lack of
interest in his or her child's wellbeing, have the right to neglect or abuse his
or her child? No! To do so is to commit a crime. Does an indigent parent have,
by virtue of his or her poverty, the right to sell his or her child? Again, no!
To do so is selfish in the extreme. Just as these are wrong, so too is it wrong
to allow parents the opportunity to "donate" their children to science.
Clearly, there is no nobility and certainly no justice in experimenting on
Jesika N. Asaro
Student of South Hagerstown High School
Jesika recently graduated from Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, MD
summa cum laude having double majored in English and Psychology.
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