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Jane Lake and Michael J Fox!


I know this is old news, but I wanted to wait for the fire to die down before commenting.

I don't have Parkinson's disease or a serious spinal injury or know anyone personally that does. That does not mean that I am not sympathetic to the suffering and despair experienced by those that do.

I am thrilled when innovative cures eliminate any disease or injury. I would support any research that does not involve taking human life to do so.

Embryonic stem cell research takes human life. Period!

Fertility treatments have created embryos that were frozen. This is a separate and also misguided issue. The procedures should never have been allowed to produce more embryos than the couple was willing to put back in the uterus. This should be corrected going forward although I don't hear anyone talking about that.

Now people act like there are "excess" embryos that will just be trashed. This doesn't have to happen. Embryos can be adopted by other couples who need them. There is never a circumstance where we must destroy an embryo!

The really sick aspect of all of this to me is that embryonic stem cell research has had no success at all in remotely doing what it proposes to do. In fact, I read yesterday that stem cells put in mice to alleviate Parkinson's disease did just that, but as a side effect created tumors! It is all theory, and weak theory at that.

We have made huge strides in medicine in the past fifty years without killing other humans. Why are people so willing to start now? A big part of the reason is that people like Chris Reeve and Michael J Fox whom people know and respect say it is a good thing. What one has to realize is that even respected intelligent people can be horribly wrong.

are you on the pill?

I agree with you too. Sure the diseases may be horrible, and be had by people we respect and love, but we must not take one life for another.

Blonde Chick:

Unfortunately, there are times when the pill may act as an abortifacient. i.e if the egg is fertilized it may prevent the embryo from attaching to the uterus. So no.

Leon:

Thanks. It is ironic that most people who agree with me are afraid to post as they would be shunned by their peers for their stance.

You are completely misguided that embryonic stem cell research has not produced anything. A company in California has announced successes in using embryonic stem cells to create cells that function the same as the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, thus a huge step to curing type 1 diabetes.

And you are also completely wrong that an embryo is life. Science agrees that it is not. And religion... Well religion is pretty much always wrong.

Anon:

Actually, embryonic stem cells don't make the beta-cells that produce insulin. What they thought came from the cells came from the growing medium. They DID form tumors, though.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=14968299&dopt=Abstract

Conversely, adult stem cells have taken over 80% of those in the trials off insulin.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=37226 and http://cbs5.com/topstories/local_story_110201058.html

Alright Jane, here's my post as per your request:

First off, I applaud your initial disclaimer about not having Parkinson's Disease, and not wanting to minimize the suffering and despair of those who face such serious illness. You certainly show more tact and grace than Rush Limbaugh. :-)

Second, I think you make an excellent point at the end of the post, about celebrity spokespeople for medical research. Clearly, those celebrities have a bias, in favor of speedy cures for their own illnesses. Plus, those celebrities have the financial means and public audience to make their views clearly known, and even to persuade a large following.

But that also carries a responsibility, a heavy one in my opinion. Do the celebrities clearly understand the medical issues? Do they let other people hijack their agenda and exploit their fame, in order to popularize spurious medical ideas?

Finally, I like your detailed discussion of the science involved. I wonder, though, if perhaps it's a little too glib. Are you a doctor? A biologist? A scientist? Do *you* truly
understand the medical issues? (Mind you, not that I'm a doctor, biologist, or scientist, either.)

If not, I think you should show more caution about using qualifiers as strong as "no success at all" or "never a circumstance." In the spirit of prudence, I believe those are the types of statements that tend to come back and haunt you, because compelling exceptions tend to occur.

On the other hand, I commend you for posting links to medical evidence, in response to some of the other comments. I believe that it's irresponsible at best, and truly dangerous at worst, to publish strong opinions on scientific oriented topics, UNLESS you have solid evidence to back up your claims.

That's all; I hope you read what I wrote, and find it worthy of your time.

Hope to hear from you,

Hart Schwartz

A fertilized cell is not a life in my view. If a cluster of cells can cure an illness that affects a large number of people, I think that is the correct approach to follow in the trials for treatment.

Hey, a clump of cells is not a person. While it can become a person if left alone, at that stage it's nothing but undifferentiated protolasm. It has no brain. It has no arms. It has no legs. It has no hearing. It cannot see. It cannot think. It is no more a person than an egg or a sperm or a paramecium or a ham sandwich is a person.

By failing to take stem cells (that otherwise would be destroyed anyway) you are not saving a life. But you are preventing research that could save a life. Which means you are contributing to the taking of a life my some horrid disease or condition.

Which in turn makes you a killer, killer, self-righteous killer!

Youirs truly,
The Crank
http:TheNewYorkCrank.blogspot.com

What's better: A dead child or a frozen blastula?

That's the choice you make when deciding to provide rights for cells that superced rights of humans.

I dont really get you...at all.
You don't have an basis of understanding
life...so you sit on your rock and use your
head to rationalize it?
Im guessing you are one of those
"food is my comforter" single women...who
has a dog..and exercise is a real problem?

How many children have you adopted?

This as an "issue" is nothing more than a hot button being used politians to manipulate people with limited understanding of the subject who want something to feel self-righteous about.

A house is burning down and you run inside and have the opportunity to save a person or a petri dish.

Which would you choose?

First of all, we are all a clump, cluster, bunch of cells. Quantity doesn't make quality.

Body parts do not make a person.

In regards, to the question,

"A house is burning down and you run inside and have the opportunity to save a person or a petri dish.

Which would you choose?"

I would reword the question:

A house is burning down and you run inside and have the opportunity to save your son or your daughter.

There is no right answer!

"I would reword the question:

A house is burning down and you run inside and have the opportunity to save your son or your daughter.

There is no right answer!"

Wow. You actually think that's a fair comparison?!?

So, going back to the person vs. petri dish question, I guess you'd say "there is no right answer." Your response clearly suggests just that. It's frightening to think there may be other people out there who feel the same way. I just hope none of them are firefighters.

anyone against stem cell research is crazy. I don't fully understand the neo con arguements against it, it is just another wedge issue too blind the idiots of our species. First and foremost stem cell research is happening, it is just a matter if we want our government involved in it. Stem Cell research has great potential. Talking of potential, I don't think killing potential life is killing. Otherwise lock me up because I killed a couple of thousand people this morning in the shower.

There is no species on the planet more capable of understanding life than our own. We are as capable of putting ourselves in line with what is natural as any other creature.

In dispsaraging abortion, are we assuming that anything that is "natural" is also moral? One could say: abortion tampers with the natural order of things, and therefore it is immoral, which is why we might say it is "taking" a life--taking action to interfere with a natural process. To me, the essential question is: shall we submit to nature (assume that destroying embryos is always wrong), or shall we manipulate it in order to evolve in the direction of our choice? Just some thoughts.

As someone who does have Parkinson's, this discussion has particular interest for me. I personally am against using embryos for stem cell research. I'm all for using umbilical cord stem cells, which are discarded daily, and there's been great progress with adult stem cell research. We have an adopted daughter, so I believe that allowing those "unused embryos" to be used by some other infertile couple is a better choice.

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