Chad Felix Greene
Chad Felix Greene

via The Federalist

About a year ago I stopped writing about Chad Felix Greene. Being an anti-gay gay might garner some attention and provide him with an income writing for the Federalist. I don’t pay attention because his banal offerings are predictable and tediously pointless. Greene frequently opposes many of the things that LGBT activists are working towards. However, he reaps the same benefits. Indeed, he is married.

I will make an exception to my self-imposed ban on Greene because of Thursday’s I’m HIV Positive, But I Can’t Support AIDS Research That Uses Aborted Baby Parts. Mr. Greene has entered Darwin Award territory.

I read through Greene’s polemic looking for some reasoning. About 60% of the way through, Greene makes a feeble attempt to find some rationale (emphasis added):

In 1932, a medical program titled Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male conducted a medical experiment on 600 black men. Those suffering with Syphilis were intentionally denied medical treatment that could have saved their life. This was excused as a necessary means to discovering viable treatment for the disease.

The men never consented to the experiments. They were completely unaware of what was happening to them. It took decades for the medical community to recognize that this practice was morally and ethically wrong, regardless of the potential benefit to society. The use of aborted fetuses is no different.

No different? The participants in the Tuskegee experiment were alive and permanently damaged. Aborted fetuses are dead. Honestly, Mr. Greene, fetuses are lifeless.

Greene keeps digging the hole he is in:

When a child is electively aborted, his or her life is determined to have little to no value, which justifies disposing of his or her body in terribly cruel ways. The only value these unborn humans are assigned is of usefulness in medical research.

This kind of neglect for humanity and arbitrary dismissal of individuality is what allowed medical professionals of the past to look at black men and believe they were justified in torturing them for what they believed to be progress. Today, as modern researchers simply view the discarded remains of a once-living human being as “leftover tissue” to experiment on, I challenge our society to argue it is in any way different.

I think that even Greene would admit that using naive fetal tissue for research does not cause a single additional abortion. Therefore, there are only two options:

  1. Process the remains as medical waste or;
  2. Use the available tissue for potentially life-saving medical research.

Which of the above options makes more sense?

Greene claims that his is living a normal, healthy life with few side effects from drug therapy. Depending upon which study you like, in 1996 a 20-year-old with HIV had a life expectancy between 32 and 39 years of age. Today it is 70 to 75 years of age. Mr. Greene fails to ponder whether or not his current existence is the result, in part, of fetal tissue research. This reeks of “I got mine. Fuck you.” It is what he has done, and continues to do, on the subject of gay rights.

Greene’s subtitle reads:

My life is not more valuable than any other person’s, and I do not support exploitation in the name of science, even if it could give me more years of life.

“Exploitation” seems to premise that pregnancies are aborted to meet the needs of medical research. There is no logical difference between using fetal tissue for research and the use of organ donor tissue. We are not killing people to get hearts for transplant and we are not aborting pregnancies to get fetal tissue.

Again I have to ask: How does processing this tissue as medical waste make more sense than using the tissue to save lives? If one thinks that abortion is evil then isn’t this a derivation of good from evil? Greene is not making the assumption that research generates abortions but, for his words to make any sense at all, he has to embrace that notion:

I want a cure; I want a vaccine. I want to be one of the last living humans on Earth to have had HIV. But I am not willing to exploit the countless innocent lives lost to abortion to get there. We can never evolve as a society in our views of humanity as equal and worthy of life and happiness if we believe the corpses of the most vulnerable are a necessary resource for our advancement. We simply must find another way.

Then organ donation exploits dead people. Even that is a false equivalence because at issue is a fetus. 92% of abortions are performed prior to 14 weeks of gestation. Suppose that an organ donor is a six-year-old with cystic fibrosis? The “innocent” child can give sight to a blind child. Fetal tissue might advance research on retinitis pigmentosa (a genetic condition), preventing blindness.

I do not know how much of all research done with fetal tissue is associated with HIV. How many people have to die from otherwise preventable conditions before conservatives (usually the religious right) are satisfied? Just like with most LGBT issues, this is all about demonstrating disapproval.

Rebutting the unmade argument:

Medical research is not lost. The decision to respect the human remains of the most vulnerable in our society does not end hope for those waiting for advancement in medical treatments for their illnesses.

No one claims that medical research is “lost” or at an end. In point of fact, medical research is impeded. Or does Greene think that fetal tissue research is gratuitous, possibly recreational?

To see so many in the medical research field argue that exploiting human beings is the only way for medical progress to continue is astonishing and disturbing. We must be better. Despite everything I have gone through, I can’t quietly ignore this atrocity for the yet-unrealized hope it could bring to me and so many others. My life is not more valuable than that of any other person on this planet. No cure is worth the cruel exploitation of human beings.

Where is the exploitation? What “atrocity” has been committed? I am HIV negative as was my late partner. Were that not the case I would want science to explore every available avenue. My boundary is defined as the point were others are injured. Greene’s boundary is esoteric or philosophical.

The reason I do not write about Greene is that I never know whether he is serious or just trying to attract attention. Either way his current post is idiotic. Even for the Federalist which seems to have no standards at all.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.