Friday, April 01, 2005

Stem Cells and Hope

Kudos to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for ensuring embryonic stem cell research in the Bay State, despite a promised veto from that state's governor and far-right lapdog, Milt Romney.

From the Boston Globe:

"Scientists in Massachusetts are already doing embryonic stem cell research. But the bill would remove the current requirement that the researchers get approval from the local district attorney to work with embryos, and would give the state Department of Public Health some regulatory control over their research. Supporters hope it will keep embryonic stem cell research, and jobs, in the Bay State."

If the measure becomes law, Massachusetts will join California and New Jersey as the only states to explicitly endorse embryonic stem cell research and somatic cell nuclear transfer.

Which reminds us to direct you toward a mighty impressive online commentary that Patti Davis wrote for Newsweek a while back. Evidently, Ron Reagan isn't the only Reagan family member who can articulate the importance of stell cell research.

In her piece, Davis recounts the sad tale of the late Tom Hill, an ALS patient who had fallen prey to a biotech firm that made the bogus claim of being able to cure him through the injection of stem cells.

Davis writes:

"If the Bush administration, which has blocked federal funding for stem-cell research, had any compassion or even any logic (notice I said 'if' -- I don't believe this administration has either), Tom Hill's struggle to live would serve as a wake-up call. Particularly because his is only one of many stories. There are people paying $20,000 to have holes drilled into their skulls into which stem cells are injected, according to the L.A. Times. In all probability those cells aren't the right kind either.

"As long as the true potential of stem-cell treatment is delayed, blocked and hampered by the government, people will in their desperation reach for whatever they can find. They will empty out their life savings, leave their families burdened with debt, all in the desperate attempt to live a longer life, to be free of disease. To see their children get married, to meet grandchildren who haven't been born yet, to walk along the beach with their spouse or partner, to wake in the morning without pain or medicine or fear.


"Bush apparently feels comfortable and justified in allowing clusters of cells -- the result of in vitro fertilization procedures -- to be destroyed rather than allow them to be used for potentially life-saving research. We know already some of the miraculous characteristics of embryonic stem cells; the miracles we don't know about are waiting to be discovered. According to the president, his position is a religious one. These cells could possibly become human beings. But they never will. They are being destroyed, routinely and frequently. That's the part you don't hear about in the president's press conferences or in the State of the Union addresses."


Post a Comment

<< Home