President Bush has withdrawn any federal funds to support stem cell research, except for those already existing. Also exempted are adult stem cells.
He was asked what about the stem cells in fertility clinics which will never be used and could never become a viable living human being. He said as far as he was concerned it was still a human being and protected under the constitution. In other words they should be thrown out with the trash like they are now instead of being used in research that could benefit all of mankind. You notice Nancy Regan changed her tune when her husband died from alzehimers. It’s always has to be personal with these idiots like Bush who never feel anything (although he makes a good imitation of it) until it affects them personally. He just doesn’t have the strength of character to be able to empathize with someone he doesn’t know. All we can hope for now is that research in Europe, which is going forward, will provide us with cures that are not possible with pharmaceuticals. When you read that 60% of drugs are not effective, you would think that we would welcome something that holds such great promise.
One of the saddest things is that there is the possibility of helping very common problems also. Imagine being able to regrow skin for a burn patient or heart tissue for someone who has had a heart attack. There is the potential for repairing damage done by spinal cord injuries, strokes, burns, heart diabetes, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Who knows how far the science could go toward healing.
Does the President think that he has saved these embryonic cells from destruction just by preventing federal funding for their use in research?
I detest the federalization of his short-sighted “morality.”
I dunno. Ronald Reagan was part of that rarified world, and look what happened to him. If the patron saint of the Republican party’s death from a disease that might be helped by stem cell research can’t change Bush’s mind, it must be a pretty closed mind.
I have always dreamed that someday I will regain feeling on my left side (which I lost due to a stroke). If we get Bush out of office, I will feel again and Superman will walk again.*
Also, has anyone read David Corn’s “The Lies of George Bush”? According to that book, Bush had claimed that there were 67 live stem cells already in existence when there were only 12. Now, there are only 4 left.
*Election 2004, this time it’s personal
It has actually crossed my mind (during my more cynical moments) that a list should be kept of the people who have impeded stem cell research and then down the line when they or a loved one need a stem cell derived treatment, they should be denied that treatment.
This is pure religous based “I know what’s best for you” legislation that has become the SOP for the Republican party. There is a point to be made in that some stem cell proponents are promising cures for everything, which of course won’t be the case. Still, halting all funding of research is stunningly short-sighted and counter-productive. The whole “creating clones to harvest them for stem cells” argument is a straw man and reasonable people know it. Hopefully, November will bring a change.
The issue really comes down to one’s opinions or faith tells him or her about stem cells.
If one’s faith or opinions states that fertilized eggs (such as in fertility clinics) are “people” (albeit unborn) then one should not use them for experimentation – any more than one would use a 40-year old in suspended animation for experimentation. OTOH, these embryos should also not be discarded as trash either. What precisely the solution to this is, I don’t know.
OTOH, if you don’t afford them the status of “people” then they can be used for this purpose just as we use cadavers for experimentation and education.
There’s no universal right or wrong here. It all comes down to one’s opinions and beliefs.
In my mind, it has also been a question of"what makes embyos deserving of protection over and above the already-born?" Many of the people who would ban stem cell research altogether are also pro-life, and consider embryos as alive as you or I. Fine, I’m not going to quibble with that, but I still can’t find a reason for valuing an embryo over someone with an illness that could be cured with stem cell products. We allow, and even encourage organ donation, yet we are unwilling to use stem cells in the same manner.
Now, see, humorless responses from Bush fils supporters is one of those things that I just can’t get behind. Sure, there have to be at least some people who wouldn’t know funny if it began licking at their genitals, and slobbering in their knuckle hair, but I always felt that those people should continue to be the religious rightists. After all, if history and nature have demonstrated anything for us, it’s that people who don’t believe in fun are just naturally dour.
Unless, Lord Ashtar you are one of the aforementioned RRs. If so, I apologize.
And pity anyone who might be forced to deal with you on a daily basis.
So? Who’s doing that? Let’s not lose sight of two things here:
Embryonic stem cell research isn’t BANNED, it’s merely not being FEDERALLY funded. Any lab that wants to engage in privately-funded stem-cell research, or which wants to limit its research to stem cell lines that existed before that cutoff time, is welcome to do so.
Embryonic stem cell research has yet to result in a cure for a single disease. The best that can be said fot it is that it’s a theoretically intriguing approach to some of these problems. But until there’s an actual cure which is being prevented from being administered, it can hardly be said that the embryonic lives are being valued over already-born lives that could have otherwise been saved.
You are right, however such research is prohibitively expensive, to the point where the only reliable source would be something on the order of the NIH. Private sources are limited, and there is the added constraint of intellectual rights to the research outcome. This could put limits on how such information is to be shared, whereas with NIH funding, there are few constraints. Municipal or state funding is out, as most states can’t justify the expense of stem-cell research. The stem cells that are available are few, and you can’t do much without a larger pool to work with.
Again, you are right. It takes years to go from cells fresh from a supplier to a routine medical procedure, but because we don’t have something now after only a few years of work doesn’t mean that won’t ever happen. It took at least five years of work from the first AIDS cases to identifying the virus; artificial heart implants and assist devices have been in development for decades; a simple urine dipstick test for infection that I am personally involved with has taken three years from the first test run to final publication, and probably four to market; after screening 10 monoclonal antibodies against a common drug, I found only two that were useful, and only one that was useful enough to roll over into an immunoassay. R & D takes time, and the more you restrict it, the less likely it will be that something significant will be found.
Bush knew exactly what he was doing when he cut federal funding for stem-cell research, and what he did do was to effectively kill a line of research before it had a chance to prove or disprove itself. Private funding and less than 10 viable cell lines isn’t enough to generate anything useful. Meanwhile, we still have frozen embryos that we are attemting to save as they lose viability in storage, and we haven’t settled many of the ethical issues surrounding their initial creation.
To add to cmkeller’s argument, there is a recent case of a gernam man with a new jaw seeded with stem cells from his own bone marrow. Also, my father was transplanted recently with his own clean stem-cells in an attempt to lengthen his remission of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. We won’t know if his transplant will work unless he develops another tumor. We don’t know if a patient’s own stem cells (or those of a genetically compatible donor) will work beyond reseeding marrow or structural organs, though.
What makes it more expensive than other biological/health research? Craig Venter (sp?) managed to run a private company to map the human genome. Drug companies like Pfizer of Merck haave incredibly deep pockets and would love to hold the patent to the cure for Alzheimers, etc. DNA analysis is routinely done in forensics labs across the country. What makes embryonic stem-cell research so expensive that only the Feds could possibly funbd it properly?
Those are ADULT stem cells, which no one objects to working with, and can completely receive funding from the Feds.
On the part about no diseases being cured yet with embryonic stem cells. Isn’t there a British team that is making progress with regrowing molars? Admittedly it is a trivial disease considering the availability of dental implants and other prosthesis but this seems to indicate that the basic idea does work.