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About oldmanfan

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  1. No one who claims he is a socialist will ever win a presidential election. The Democrats will nominate someone like Biden or Klobuchar because they know they have to win back some mid western states to win the election and moderates give them that chance. Regarding the economy, various indicators look good. The tax cut didn't really help me at all and I'm at a upper middle class income level. And while I agree we need to get trade issues resolved with China, Trump may just be foolish enough to continue this tariff and trade war and hand away votes from folks like farmers who are getting hurt and will continue to get hurt. What I find depressing is that neither side seems to care about the most critical part of our economic situation: the 20 trillion and rising debt load for our country. This is intolerable, unsustainable. Someone needs to have the guts to stand up and say either we decide as a country we want all these government services and thus increase the tax rates to a level needed to not only pay for the services and pay the debt, or we decide that the government has very limited duties, keep the rates where they are, drastically cut services to only essential ones, and use the remaining revenue to pay down the debt. We are on a path to ultimate destruction and neither political party gives a damn.
  2. Science doesn't really abdicate; science provides answers to questions that can be addressed through science. When life begins is a philosophic question, not a scientific one. My main objection to the abortion debate is people claiming science has proven their opinion when it has not regardless of the side one takes. If you look at the Alabama law, I believe the senators who voted it in are all white men. So I can understand the point being made. May not agree with it but that's what happened.
  3. I read the article you linked and the author makes interesting points. But she says at the moment of sperm-egg fusion life is defined. That is simply incorrect and can be shown by the fact that a sperm can enter the egg yet not result in completion of the fertilization process. My research interests focus on that fusion process. Many times the sperm fuses but does not cause egg activation and resulting embryo development. This is most clearly shown by a procedure called ICSI where a sperm is injected directly into the egg to achieve fertilization. Even when you manually put the sperm into the egg, fertilization does not occur 15-20% of the time. have to get to bed because I have cases early tomorrow morning. I'll pick things up then.
  4. Good discussion. I would tell you this. The DNA is unique, but DNA by itself does not define human life. The DNA has to code for specific proteins which in turn have to carry out specific functions which in turn, if all works as planned, potentially creates a human life. A poster above indicated IVF labs routinely throw embryos out and equated what I do as abortion. I have heard such issues for over 30 years and realize folks like that do not want to listen to fact. You seem more open though. The reality is that not every fertilized egg has the same developmental capacity, despite having very similar genomes. The fertilized egg's growth is driven by materials synthesized and stored by the egg during development. At the 4-8 cell stage a switch occurs and the embryo has to synthesize its own materials and embryos are prone to arrest at that point. In other words, they cease having viability. I can have two embryos in the same culture drop, one arrests and one goes on in development, is transferred and pregnancy ensues. No one killed the one that arrested; that is normal biology. And yes, the embryo is discarded when non-viable. I understand and respect your viewpoint. But it is not based in the science of early development; it is a moral viewpoint. You are certainly entitled to your moral stance, I would simply say one should not use an incorrect description of science to support it.
  5. Unique? Not necessarily. Because identical twins have the same genome, and are considered separate entities. Also there is the issue of mutations. One cannot define when life begins scientifically because one cannot apply the scientific method to the question. You make a hypothesis - in this case that life begins at conception let's say. Then you have to test that hypothesis experimentally. How do one do that? And thus a scientific proof is absent.
  6. I run an IVF lab. You have a moral position which, while I respect, I cannot agree with. Scientifically you are incorrect and I have outlined in a post above why this is the case.
  7. This is going to sound awful, but in a sense the fetus exists in utero in a somewhat parasitic relationship with the mother. The fetus can only get oxygen and required nutrients from the mother through the placenta. Once the placental communication with the mother is terminated, then the fetus must be able to breath on its own and take in and utilize nutrients etc. But one can certainly intervene with modern medical care after termination of the placental connection (such as ECMO for oxygenation, etc.), and as such the age of viability has come down since Roe v. Wade. And may continue to do so. If there a potentially dangerous drug interaction with another prescribed medication, certainly. What our patients have run into are pharmacists who refuse to fill any birth control prescription because of their religious beliefs. They have no business being pharmacists then.
  8. Well put. It is as stated an extraordinarily grey issue, with temporal issues being critical. I just wish people would quit painting is as black and white.
  9. Thanks for correcting that. I am for anything that prevents unwanted pregnancy, and since implantation starts the clock on that process I become irritated by the position of some pharmacists who refuse to fill a lawfully written prescription for the morning after pill by a licensed physician or NP or PA. We have even had folks in our practice that we've put on birth control pills to control endometriosis or to time egg retrieval procedures, and pharmacists have refused to fill those. Of all the issues, that surround this complex debate, that one is the one that angers me. If you are a pharmacist, fill a legal prescription. If you have some sort of religious thing that prevents you from doing so, then find another profession.
  10. My moral and religious belief, again because it is not something defined scientifically, is when the fetus can sustain life on its own. And with medical advances that age becomes younger and younger with time. Does that mean, however, I would advocate for abortion at, say 12 weeks? Overall, no, but It would depend on circumstances. If my wife and I had conceived a child with Down syndrome, we would not have terminated. That was our choice. We did , however, have a conception with a chromosomal trisomy that was incompatible with embryonic growth and development to term, and although we saw a heartbeat at 6 weeks by 8 weeks it was gone. I do think these decisions must be made by the individual in question. I have seen couples where a man with a pro-life T shirt was sitting right next to the bed of his wife who just had a termination due to a fetal abnormality. Having worked in the field for over 35 years, what I've learned is that it is impossible to make moral judgments for another unless you are put into the same circumstance. Or to put it another way, people often want to make something black and white when the reality is the issue exists in shades of gray.
  11. I agree the fundamental question is when does life begin. But as a scientist who has directed IVF labs for a number of years, I can hopefully provide some input as to that question. First, one has to be sure that one you talk about life you talk about human, and not biological, life. The egg and sperm are both viable living cells, and when they untie they create another living cell. The question then is: is that new cell a human life? And for that there needs to be a complete understanding of early development. The fertilized egg or zygote is not truly a unique human entity, or unique life, as some would suggest. It is the beginning of the potential of such, but not truly a unique entity. If one takes that view, one then must deny the existence of identical twins, as they are derived from the same fertilized egg. I don't think anyone would make the argument that twins are not, each, unique entities. The zygote then has to undergo a number of cell divisions to form a blastocyst, which contains one hundred or so cells, and is the stage that the embryo can normally implant in the uterus. From years of IVF experience, and from studies of basic biology, it is known that many zygotes arrest in development early one, perhaps after one or two cell divisions. Thus they do not have the cellular or genetic machinery to form a fetus. And, a critical point to make, humans are eutherian mammals. This means in order for development to ensue there is a requirement for development of the placenta, to allow for maternal-embryonic communication. Thus, without implantation there is no development into a fetus. Considering the above, it can be stated that a fertilized egg has the POTENTIAL to form a baby. It has the potential to form two babies. OR three. Or most times none. Potential is the key word, which is why labs like mine are constantly obsessing over conditions to support proper growth and development of embryos. But biology dictates many fertilized eggs do not make it, and that does not mean I or a woman who just had intercourse are killing anything. it means it is normal biology. Some say science has proven life begins at conception. It has not. It is impossible biologically to define conception, as the fertilization process contains a number of sequential steps from initial contact of sperm with cells surrounding the egg to the union of male and female pronuclei at syngamy. A more logical place to begin the discussion is implantation, for without that you have no development and there is a defined measure (hCG levels) that tell you implantation has occurred. The Alabama law uses 6 weeks as a defined term. Pregnancy dates from the last menstrual period, not hen the embryo implants, not when you get a positive pregnancy test. It's why humans have 40 week gestation periods but talk about being pregnant for nine months; there is a month long difference between dating and knowing. Many women simply do not know they are pregnant at six weeks; it is only three weeks from implantation. That date seems ill advised to me. I would also say that the NYS law, to me, is draconian and borderline evil; to do such late term terminations should only be done, if at all, if the life of the mother is in imminent danger. My position is that we should all be working to make a society where abortion is never required unless imminent danger to the mother is in place. Being pro choice should mean you have the ability to make choices. Like you should be able to choose contraceptives of your choice, and they should be readily available (which to me means if you're a pharmacist and someone gives you a prescription for a pill form a licensed physician, you fill it). Men should never have sex without condoms unless they intend to become a dad. Younger kids should be instructed about waiting until they are mature ought to handle the responsibilities of sex (but if you think abstinence is the only answer to this issue, good luck - sex is as basic a biologic instinct as seeking water). Using the morning after pill to me is a sound approach because again implantation has not occurred. As one who works with infertile couples, I am a strong proponent of adoption. But I also cannot imagine taking away choices from women who have been raped or been the victims of *****, just that I would encourage that choice to be made as early as possible. Ultimately the question of when life begins is one of moral and/or religious values. as a scientist, I try to educate folks on the actual biology of reproduction, and I get ticked when some misrepresent science as having proven something it has not proven. Science cannot prove when life begins, because it is not a scientific question to answer. One cannot apply the scientific methods to the question, one cannot design experiments to test hypotheses of when life begins. Thus it remains a moral issue, and as such there will always be differences of opinion.
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