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April 23, 1982

Human Life Bill

JAMA. 1982;247(16):2230. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320410016006

To the Editor.—  The eclectic views of Harriet S. Meyer, MD, in her COMMENTARY "Science and the 'Human Life Bill'," (1981;246:837) clarify the muddy waters surrounding Congressional Bill S 158 and reinforce the observation that earnest scientific "testimony" can be choreographed to pursue direct political goals, personal biases, and absolute moral or religious beliefs. The fatuity of lining up selected scientific experts to correlate embryologic observation with one group's preconceived conclusions about what constitutes the legal or religious definition of a person represents witting or unwitting cooperation with political legerdemain. Surely the essential "answer" or truth of sciences lies in the process of searching and testing, not in proclaiming specific "answers" that suit the purposes of specific political groups. Today's specific scientific opinions are unlikely to be immutable and are not easily applicable to legal or social realities. Leon Rosenberg's insistence on the committee's coming to terms with embryologic, religious,