Focus on the Family misstated Dobson's "original comment" comparing embryonic stem cell research to Nazi experiments


On the August 5 broadcast of his Focus on the Family radio show, James C. Dobson -- founder and chairman of Focus on the Family -- defended his August 3 comparison of embryonic stem cell research to scientific experiments conducted on live humans by the Nazis. Also during the August 5 show, co-host John Fuller directed listeners to a website run by Focus on the Family,, where there is "a lot of information about our opposition to stem cell research." Displayed prominently on the website is an article, titled "Dr. Dobson Answers Critics Over Stem-Cell Comments," that misstates Dobson's initial comparison of stem cell research to Nazi experiments, referring to a comment Dobson made on August 5 as his "original comment":

Dobson countered that his statement was being "spun like a top by those who don't care about unborn life."

He said the original comment -- "Experimentation on the blastocytes, which are fertilized eggs, has a Nazi-esque aura to it" -- was being taken out of context by those who support embryonic stem-cell research.

But while Dobson did make a comment similar to the statement represented as his "original comment" on the August 5 show, his actual original comment, made during his August 3 radio broadcast and re-broadcast two days later, was far more inflammatory:

DOBSON: You know, the thing that means so much to me here on this this issue [embryonic stem cell research] is that people talk about the potential for good that can come from destroying these little embryos and how we might be able to solve the problem of juvenile diabetes. There's no indication yet that they're gonna do that, but people say that, or spinal cord injuries or such things. But I have to ask this question: In World War II, the Nazis experimented on human beings in horrible ways in the concentration camps, and I imagine, if you wanted to take the time to read about it, there would have been some discoveries there that benefited mankind. You know, if you take a utilitarian approach, that if something results in good, then it is good. But that's obviously not true. We condemn what the Nazis did because there are some things that we always could do but we haven't done, because science always has to be guided by ethics and by morality. And you remove ethics and morality, and you get what happened in Nazi Germany. That's why to Senator [Senate Majority Leader Bill] Frist [R-TN] and the others who are saying, "Look what may be accomplished." Yeah, but there's another issue, there's a higher order of ethics here.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Stem Cell Research
Religion, Religious Broadcasting
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