Patti Davis on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

I thought that this article by Patti Davis, Nancy Regan's daughter, on the topic of embryonic stem cell research was worth pointing out. It is good to see that the sane view is getting more column inches these days:

There is a possible cure waiting in the wings for people with juvenile diabetes, Alzheimer's, ALS, Parkinson's, heart disease, cancer, as well as spinal-cord injuries. It's called stem-cell research.

...

On the night of May 8, my mother, Nancy Reagan, was given an award for caregiving at a Beverly Hills fund-raiser for stem-cell research. "We have lost so much time," she said when accepting her award. "I just can't bear to lose any more." It was a star-studded event, but everyone there was clear about one thing: Disease doesn't care about fame, or wealth or even youth. It just is.

...

Approximately 128 million individuals could benefit from stem-cell applications, according to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The number is probably higher, and as time goes by, it will grow higher still. Imagine the fear that would strike you if you were given a diagnosis that was, basically, a life sentence.

...

My family has watched my father, once called "The Great Communicator," vanish into the shadows of Alzheimer's; we are only one of many families who know the cruelty of this disease. My mother has taken her sorrow, her loss, and stood up for the one cure that can prevent people in the future from knowing this agony. George W. Bush, though he may want to try, can never stand in the way of people who want to banish the diseases that are stealing so much.

The article ends on this note, and I agree with it wholeheartedly:

People's desire to live healthy, whole lives will prevail in the end. There is a cure out there. We all know it. We will reach past any mere political obstacles to grab onto it and make it a reality. A messy, horrible war that has spun out of control could very well determine the next election. So should the miracle of stem-cell research - a miracle the Bush White House thinks it can block. It's too late for my father. At the fund-raiser last week, my mother told the audience that "Ronnie's long journey has finally taken him to a distant place where I can no longer reach him." But those of us who have stood helplessly at bedsides or shuddered at our own diagnosis - those who have woken up to learn they would never walk again - have something to say about the very real promise of a miraculous cure: nothing can stop us from reaching for it.

This is the essence of medical research - the will that explains why it is done at all, whether for cancer, Alzheimer's, or to stop the aging process itself. This is why people devote lifetimes to medicine. It is our humanity and our ability to do good at work.

So much suffering and death in the world is caused by the ugly realities of the present day human condition: we can do better.

Comments

Ronald Reagan would have opposed stem -cell research. There is an eternity beyond our mortal limits. We cannot break the laws of nature and God without very serious consequences.

Posted by: S. at June 7th, 2004 10:06 AM

Ronald Reagan certainly might have opposed stem cell research. He opposed a number of similar research fields.

The first "law of nature" is humans barely live past 20, suffer horrible diseases, and scrape a living by hunting and gathering. We seem to have blown past that one. When you return to that lifestyle, forsake all tools and modern conveniences, and refuse all medicine, maybe I'll listen to what you have to say about laws of nature.

Posted by: Reason at June 7th, 2004 10:31 AM

I BELIEVE STEM CELL RESEARCH SHOULD ONLY BE FOR ADULT OR UMBILICAL CORD STEM CELLS. I AM THE PARENT OF A SEVERELY DISABLED SON ''DANNY '' WHO IS A BLESSING AND TOTALLY INNOCENT. INNOCENT LIFE WE NEED TO PROTECT IN IF EMBRYRONIC CELLS ARE GOTTEN BY DESTRUCTION IT IS NOT THE WAY TO .. GO ... WITH GOD PATTI MY SYMPATHIES TO YOU AND YOURS THIS DAY 6/7/04.[MATTHEW CHAPTER SIX]

Posted by: RICH at June 7th, 2004 4:46 PM

Obviously you have never been forced to live with losing a loved one to a disease the debilitates the very essence of that person. I hope you never do. It is a fate I would wish on no one.

Don't you think if this research is wrong, if it stands against all the beliefs of God (or whatever higher power you believe in), it would be impossible for us to attain? He unlocks the doors. It's up to us to open them, not slam them because we believe wrong and right can be explained in words.

Posted by: Vy at June 7th, 2004 6:59 PM

If the next person to comment could let me know from whence this sudden influx of religious-minded visitors hails from? Who linked to this post today?

Posted by: Reason at June 7th, 2004 8:02 PM

VY POSTED ON 6/7/04 WONDERING WHY IF GOD ALLOWS KNOWLEDGE TO BE =WHY THIS CANNOT BE USED IN ANYWAY, ESPECIALLY TO HELP ANOTHER SUFFER LESS? GOOD QUESTION YET USING ADULT STEM CELLS OR CELLS FROM THE UMBILICAL CORD DOESN'T DESTROY THE BEGINNING OF A CONCEIVED LIFE AND ITS BEING. I AGREE WITH PRESIDENT BUSH AND WOULD HAVE TO DISAGREE WITH MRS. REAGAN AND PATTI DAVIS REAGAN ON THIS THOUGH I DISAGREE WITH THE OPINION OF STEM CELLS RESEARCH ''I DO AGREE'' THAT GOD, SHOULD SHINE AND THAT COMFORT IN THE DAYS AND MONTHS AHEAD BE PARAMOUNT TO THEM BOTH! MAY GOD BLESS THEM THIS WEEK GREATLY. MR. REAGAN WAS A GREAT HUMAN BEING AND I AM SURE A GREAT HUSBAND AND DAD HE SURE WAS THE BEST PRESIDENT SINCE I WAS ABLE TO VOTE SINCE 68. ALSO TO CLOSE, I DO NOT KNOW IF ''VY'' WAS TALKING TO ME IN RESPONSE TO MY POST ? YET I HAVE SEEN LOVED ONES DECLINE SLOWLY AND DIE IT IS SAD AND WHEN GOD CLOSES A DOOR HE OPENS A WINDOW. MY SON DANNY NOW TWENTY [ALMOST 21!!] IS COGNITIVELY AS AN INFANT, CONSIDERED SEVERELY RETARDED HAS HAD OVER 20,000 G/MALS CANNOT WALK TALK SING DANCE PRANCE SWIM JUMP OR PLAY BALL[SO TO SPEAK ]YET DANNY IS INNOCENT COOL AND LOVE-ABLE !!!!!!! DANNY ALSO IS CORTICALLY BLIND AND IS FED SINCE 1994 THROUGH A G/TUBE . WE WALKED A GOOD HOUR TODAY VERY NICE DANNY ESPECIALLY ENJOYS THE REVVVVVVVINNNNGGG OF MOTORCYCLES GOING BY SO IF YOUR POST MEANT THAT I MAY NOT KNOW WHAT IT COULD BE LIKE CARING FOR OR WATCHING A LOVED ONE HAVE WHAT SOME CONSIDER A ''NOT SO'' GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE GOD HAS SHOWN ME THE VAULE OF LIFE IN A GREAT WAY AND IT IS TO BE CHERISHED ANDS PROTECTED AND AS BUSH SAID ==WHY CREATE LIFE TO DESTROY IT??? HEY ,WITH MY SON'S EPILEPSY I COULD GO TO MASS. GENERAL AND HAVE PIG CELLS IMPLANTED IN HIS BRAIN TO TRY TO STOP SEIZURES [THEY ARE TRYING THIS IN LIMITED TESTS] AND THERE ARE SOME THINGS THE CREATOR I BELIEVE WOULD HAVE US NOT TO DO WHICH A FEW LINES ABOVE ATTRIBUTED TO BUSH ANOTHER GREAT PRESIDENT SAID, IT IS SIMPLE.. WELL. ANYHOW MAY GOD BLESS THE REAGANS AND AMERICA!!1

Posted by: RICH at June 8th, 2004 4:40 PM

Forget the mumbo jumbo. Forget the myth and superstition. People listen and wake up. You will not see any "God". Ever. It does not exist. When you die, there are no 71 virgins, pearly gates, bearded white guy on a cloud, bla, bla. No, I'm afraid that this is it. This is life. It's an incredible, fragile, very very short thing. So treasure this life...do the research. Find the cures. Keep our loved ones with us as long as we can, because when they go - they're gone. Forever. Give up the myths. It's as if you are saying that the earth is flat.

Posted by: Rod at June 8th, 2004 6:19 PM

Regarding Bush's comment "why create life to destroy it?" - I have to quote Damien Broderick in response to this: "So much for all those Texas steers, I guess. Back to oats, chef!"

Food for thought.

Posted by: Reason at June 8th, 2004 7:31 PM

In response to Rod. You sound just like the people you are criticizing. You sound like you have definite proof of Gods non-existence as others have of his existence. God's exisitance is based on faith, which you do not have, which is your right. On the subject of stem-cell research, I myself do not have enough information pro or con to make a subjective decision. My father suffered from alzeimer's for 4 years before he died, & I would liked some cure for it, but not at all costs. You are right that life is precious & should be enjoyed to the fullest.

Posted by: Don at June 8th, 2004 7:35 PM

I critize no one. I call EVERYONE to simply wake up, stop putting arbitrary obstacles in the way of necessary research and get the job done. (If someone sounds like a hysterical Chicken Little bleating out that the sky will fall if we do this research, I'm going to shake them and try to get them to wake up and calm down.) As far as my being confident in my beliefs, well, sorry that offends you. Surely you're not trying to have me believe that the religious types don't believe that they have "proof" as you stated? Let's just keep religion out of it. It's too personal - as you can see my stated faith was a bit too much for you to handle. It's about research. Let's get moving on it.

Posted by: rod at June 9th, 2004 6:18 AM

I agree it is a terrible thing to watch a loved one waste away with Alzheimers, or to develop the disease ourselves. However, abortion also takes innocent life, in sometimes horrible ways. Have you people seen the results [fotos], of these atrocities?? If indeed adult stem cells and/or umbilical cells work just as well that would seem to settle the argument and the controversy. So what is all the fuss about...let's get on with the research!

Posted by: emily at June 10th, 2004 8:09 PM

With regard to embryonic stem cell research and Alzheimer's, I should point out that Alzheimer's happens to be one of the very few age-related conditions that probably won't benefit from this research, adult or embryonic, any time soon. Other branches of research are far closer to developing promising therapies. Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative condition, but it is quite different from Parkinson's in this respect. Promising work has been done on Parkinson's using stem cell transplants and therapeutic cloning (the mouse equivalent has been cured already in studies, for example).

It is somewhat ironic that stem cell research, the Reagans, and Alzheimers have become conflated in the public imagination - the right sort of result (the desire for greater medical research) has happened for entirely mistaken reasons.

On the subject of abortion and therapeutic cloning, I strongly recommend that you read the Michael Kinsley article that was published in Time recently entitled "The False Controversy of Stem Cells".

http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/view_news_item.cfm?news_id=968

I quote: "Stamping some issue as controversial can be a substitute for thinking it through. In the case of embryonic stem cell research, thinking it through does not require further study or commissions of experts. This is one you can feel free to try at home. In fact, thinking it through is a moral obligation, especially if you are on the side of the argument that wants to stop or slow this research."

Posted by: Reason at June 10th, 2004 8:57 PM

My Father died of Alzheimer's in 1994. I know the suffering involved for the family. It was devastating. I truly feel the pain of the Reagan family. I would hope that the beauty of the remembrance of President Reagan is not overshadowed by bringing controversy through stem-cell research. I know that Pres. Reagan would want Nancy to live out her life with a purpose. I also believe that trying all roads to stem-cell research by using adult stem cells and umbilical cord stem cells must be exhausted before we move into even thinking about destroying life. Too much life has been destroyed already and one day we will stand before God, all of us. Whether you believe in Him or not....is not the question...He was, He is, and He always will be. For the word says, 'Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess, that Jesus is Lord!'. These are not my words but the living words of God!! One day we will all see the truth. Until that day, may we be understanding and forgiving of others...and may we not be driven by anger or hatred. For we will give an account of out life!!! Suffering is a part of life and it brings us closer in many ways to the truth than any other way!! The Reagan family has suffered and for that all my love and sympathy goes out to them. Pres. Reagan will always hold a dear place in my heart. May God continue to open the eyes of our understanding to come into unity and not division!! For a house divided among itself will not stand! America will stand when we unite! Pres. Reagan's week of remembrance has brought forth a rare stand of Unity for America. A breath of fresh air. For that I am grateful. May God bless the Reagans and may God bless the United States of America.

Posted by: Vivian at June 12th, 2004 2:51 AM

According to the chair of Research at Johns Hopkins University, the cure for Alzheimers really is contingent on stem cell research. They feel that drugs are actually the way to go and that they are closer than we might think. The research community is unified in this thought and they are working together.
As a person that watched the disease take my grandmother, I feel I can speak from the inside. I feel that we are too quick to jump on any bandwagon that comes along. Of course I would love to see my friend Dave walk again, and of course I would love to never have to hear about Alzheimers again, but where have we gotten with the limited use of the stem cells that were granted 3 years ago? Does anyone know what has become of that? If the leading researchers in the field tell me they don't need them, then that tells me that they don't.

Posted by: Pam at June 12th, 2004 7:47 AM

You can't point to research that has been limited because of politics and say that we can abandon it because it isn't going anywhere yet - as many people are doing. That's a nasty political trick.

Broader stem cell science has demonstrated cures or therapies for virtually all age-related conditions in mice or a petri dish. In humans, trials have been restricted (because of legislation) to adult stem cell therapies for heart disease, some types of blindness, and bone repair. Most of this work, up until early 2004, was outside the US, since the FDA was blocking the first adult stem cell trials.

It just so happens that Alzheimer's is not one of the age-related conditions that has been shown to benefit from stem cell based regenerative medicine. It might have been if research was not restricted, but we can't know until stem cell research is allowed to proceed unfettered.

Posted by: Reason at June 12th, 2004 11:16 AM

If any form of medical treatment,lessens a patients suffering from effects of any illness and research is implimented humanly no ones agenda shall stand in medical practisioners way,when implimented with humility for all in its grasp-

Posted by: Richard A. McFarland at June 12th, 2004 12:34 PM

Hello to all. I am a scientist myself. Although not working in the stem cell research, however, i do believe this is a path that should be tread gingerly. Research has always given hope to mankind, regardless of your belief. Belief is belief, rarely there's something to prove things in the realm of religion. I don't think, anybody is in a position to clearly state whether there is a god or not, if there's a god then how is that god? Man, woman? it? And why do i believe when someone comes and says, hello, this is what you should do, as that's been revealed to me by god. Sorry folks, i will need a just a bit more than that. But these are fundamental questions for which no one has any clear answers. Life is precious, at least in our lifetime, we see, once someone is dead, he doesn't come back to us the way he/she was, and we all know that at least there's one truth, and that is death.
So let's tackle that for the moment. Well, i am not sayiong let's tackle death, what i am saying is that let us try to see whether we can better human condition. I am heavily into philosophy, and not religion, and certainly miles away from organised religion. They are not far away from organised crime! (apologies to the hard cores).
Researh is one of the main ways to improve human condition. Have you all forgottn that Reagan was against AIDS research, as like many 'not so enlightened people' he believed that this is a curse for gay people. How outrageous is that? How about thinking in a bit of historical manner, what did the Church do to Galleleo? And why did Coparnicus had to keep quiet after knowing that the earth was revolving aound the sun and not the other way round? So, people who are always at the door of churches, also get educated. Blind faith is a dangerous disease in itself.
How do you know whether what a prophet said is true? He could have had schizophrenic brain as well. Just like a person hearing voices in his head is nowadays administered in hospital, in those days, he/she (more likely he) was taken as a prophet. That doesn't mean, that there's no higher consciousness, or what exactly is consiusness, but these issues are not in the domain of medical research, at least for now. Therefore, let us work for a better future for HUMAN BEINGS CURRENTLY LIVING. And by the way, the bottom line of every religion is the same, love others, let others live. Just as your religion is dear to you, so it is to others, and religion is man made, truth isn't. So have respect for other human life. But i agree, that one should exhaust every other possibility before taking things to the embryo. How about babies who are being aborted, till you guys debate about abortion rights, scientists can get hold of some these embryos, and get on with research, if at all that's the only way. Insted of the embryos being destroyed, that can be utilized for scientific research. George Bush, is a problem, that's known, and he is a historical blunder to USA and to more to the world. And i believe he is beyond the limits anyways, one needs to mutate him in order to make him a human being.
Good luck everyone.

Posted by: AB at June 12th, 2004 3:15 PM

[Posted by: AB at June 12, 2004 03:15 PM]
Have you all forgottn that Reagan was against AIDS research, as like many 'not so enlightened people' he believed that this is a curse for gay people. How outrageous is that?
I WOULD LIKE TO REBUT THIS UNSUBSTANTIATED LIE WITH SOME FACTS:
Between 1982 and 1989, the Reagan administration spent over $5.7 BILLION dollars on AIDS research. Source- Congressional Research Service study titled AIDS Funding for Federal Government Programs: FY1981-FY1999.

Posted by: POH at June 28th, 2004 6:19 AM

Man, this topic became quite heated, didn't it? I doubt anyone will ever scroll down far enough to read my comments, but I feel I have to. I apologize for the length. If you feel like skipping this comment, at least read my last three paragraphs.

To "RICH":
First of all, let me say that I have no intention of belittling the condition of your son. You have a very strong sense of what you view as right or wrong, and you strongly believe that embryoic sources of stem cells are wrong until all other options have been explored.

I have two replies to this conviction. First of all, if you are wrong in your belief that adult and umbilical stem cells will provide all or a great majority of the cures we as a society seek, then embryonic stem cell research will have to go forward to provide the rest. I repeat, the research will eventually go forward, but MANY years too late for the millions who will die due to delay.

In other words, you are saying that it is better to prevent a 100% chance of destroying a few hundred embryos for research purposes (most or all of which, by the way, would have been destroyed anyway once the in vitro clinics were done with them), than to allow such research on the small hope (let's say 10% for a very conservative estimate) that such research would save millions of lives. I hate to make this an equation, but 100% x 500 << 10% x 10,000,000, where "<<" means significantly less than. I'm also guessing on the number of 500 embryos.

Incidentally, I would argue that there is at least a 95% chance that embryonic research, in tandem with adult stem cell research, will save millions more lives than adult stem cell research alone. The reasons? Well, there are two, and they are related to timing.

First of all, adult stem cells are not as dynamic as embryonic stem cells. This means that, in the short term, we can do more with embryonic stem cells than with adult stem cells. Which means we can save more lives in the next couple of years with embryonic stem cell research than we could without it. By the next couple of years, I'm cutting out the ten year delay of business startup, marketing, FDA approval, etc. that Reason often discusses. Those delays would be the same either way.

The second reason is that, eventually, we'll have the technology to turn a skin cell into the functional equivalent of an embryonic stem cell, and certainly to turn an adult stem cell into the same. However, that technology is much further off. In either case, whether the delay is a couple years, or a decade or more, millions of people will die from otherwise curable diseases.

So we're basically talking about trading a 100% chance of killing embryos which are so undeveloped as to even have the beginning buds of anything resembling an organ, versus the 95% probability of saving millions of lives. A lot of fundamentalists (religious or otherwise) are ill equipped to make what should be a straightforward decision.

Anyway, my second reply to your conviction has to do with the rights of society versus the rights of the individual. Why should you and a MINORITY of others, based almost exclusively on religious arguments (which, ironically, shouldn't have a play in politics and the law to begin with), be allowed to prevent research from going forward that could save lives. If you had medical reasons for objecting, or financial reasons for objecting, then you would have a leg to stand on. But you are using your personal beliefs to stop this. You have nothing of substance to provide to this argument.

Finally, for those who would comment that a majority of people are against embryonic stem cell research, I have this to say. First, polls that might indicate this are heavily biased based on wording: on how well the benefits of the research are explained, and how well the embryos state at two to three weeks is explained. People have strong objections to destroying a fetus, with eyes, a liver, a heart, and most importantly, a brain. Most people today realize that it is the brain that harbors the mind, and by extension, the soul (or at least the majority of the soul). An embryo at a couple weeks has no organs. It doesn't even have the beginnings of organs. It's just a clump of cells. Yes, a clump of human cells, with human DNA, but it has no form, no organs, no brain, no mind. It has as much soul as a wart that you have removed.

Not to say that they are equivalent. A wart does not have the potential to become a fully functional human being. It will never develop a soul. An embryo does, and it will. I'll leave it at that.

The point is, if properly explained, the majority of people would support this research. And many polls show this.

My second objection to those who would say that a majority of people are against this research is this: this goes beyond merely a moral issue, and therefore, the moral values of the majority are not enough to justify stopping this.

Consider the issue of cloning babies for people who supposedly cannot in any other way conceive a child with some portion of their DNA. Adoption is out of the question for these people, as is carrying "someone else's baby" to term. Well, this is something that affects a very small minority of people, and a very large majority of people are against it (for now, anyway). In this case, if society wants to stop it, I say, go ahead and stop it on moral grounds alone. We can provide depression therapy, anti-depressants, and if necessary, "re-education" therapy to do whatever it takes to convince this very small minority of people that adopting a child, or bearing a child from someone else's leftover IVF embryos, is sufficient.

However, on a topic like stem cell research, the benefits of which will affect a majority of people in the next half-century, and which a minority of people (or at best a narrow majority) oppose, there is no justification that it should be stopped on moral grounds alone.

It's ironic that a minority view is held by a majority of politicians (though luckily a shrinking majority), and as Reason has pointed out, this can be very bad in our winner-takes-all "democracy". I hate to get off on another tangent here, but the whole concept of party platforms is completely inappropriate in exactly these sorts of situations. I am a Republican (sorry Reason), mostly because of my beliefs on how businesses should be regulated, and how the economy should be "run". However, I could more appropriately be called a socially-forward-thinking Republican, or a fiscally conservative Democrat, etc. I think a lot of people who are republicans disagree with a lot of items on the "platform". The same could be said about democrats. What you end up with is an elected body of officials where about 50% of support or oppose something, whereas the general population is highly polarized at 70% or 80% one way or the other.

To "Rod":
Man, get a life. In some ways I think "fundamentalist" atheists like yourself are as bad or worse than fundamentalists of other religions. And yes, I do mean religion. Despite your best efforts to delude yourself that you atheism is the total lack of religion, it is in fact in its deepest form still a religion. I suppose there are a few atheists in the worlds who are truly without a religion, but most, especially those with attitudes like yours, are not truly without religion.

Definitions of atheism aside, I feel I must offer these very basic objections to your dogma. First of all, by definition, you cannot disprove God's existence, all jokes of babel fish aside. Religion is based on faith. And it's deeper than just one's beliefs.

Using Christianity as an example, a single person could be taken up by God, shown all the glories of creation, have revealed all the works of men (and aliens, if you'd like) from the beginning of time, and shown His marvelous work for the eventual resurrection of man. When that person was returned to the earth, they would have no doubt in their minds any more that God exists. They would KNOW. Yet, this would not prove their religion to any of us. That person could describe all he had seen until the day he died, and he would be viewed by some as a prophet, and by some as insane.

By the same line of reasoning, you can discover all you want to about the world through science, and you can have this internal conviction that you "KNOW" that God doesn't exist. But you know what? Who cares! That doesn't make your belief any more superior than that of people who embrace a particular religion.

So, "Rod", I have to say this again. Get a life. Religion is a part of society, and like it or not, it is protected by the First Amendment. Not the second, or seventh. The First. In fact, it's the first of several rights mentioned in the first amendment. Above all other rights in the Bill of Rights, the Founding Fathers put it first. Learn that lesson, respect it, learn to respect others, and you might have a chance of being called a human being in your eulogy.

Finally, to all, but in particular, to "Vivian", because I can't bring myself to argue with your sincerity, even if I disagree:
Why must an embryo be destroyed? Reason, could you answer this? If the blastocyst has developed to a clump of a hundred of two hundred cells, would removing one or two stem cells doom that blastocyst to be unable to continue developing? Could we not harvest small numbers of stem cells, but from a larger number of embryos, without killing them?

Even if we can't, could we assume that if we took a minimal number of stem cells, and then froze the remainder of the embryo, that the embryo could be repaired with late 21st century technology? We routinely freeze and reuse embryos today, so counterarguments used against full human cryonics would not apply.

Wouldn't this circumvent the whole moral dilemma at its root? I suppose that "injuring" an embryo can still have its moral dilemmas, but it is certainly a very far cry from killing an embryo.

Posted by: Jay Fox at July 22nd, 2004 11:59 PM

Mr Fox
I would like to know what credentials you have to say that this Embryonic stem cell research has so many benefits. To date, more progress has been made with stem cells from umbilical chords and adults than from embryos.
It is christian proncipals that this country was formed on and those same christian principals are the ones that we need to continue to uphold.
It is not about religion, it is about Jesus Christ. Each and every human embryo is created by God. As it states in Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you."
We as another human being do not have the right to take that life no matter how insignificant YOU may think it is.
One day when you get before the throne of God, you will have to answer for all your views. I will pray for you.

Posted by: Ericka Ernst at August 13th, 2004 5:43 AM

Erika: therapies based on embryonic stem cells have been used in the lab to cure mice of diabetes and the mouse version of Parkinson's. Adult stem cell research is more advanced in human trials (such as for heart disease, therapy for a class of blindness, and bone repair) precisely because of restrictive legislation and roadblocks put in the way of embryonic research.

Posted by: Reason at August 14th, 2004 6:14 PM

A parent who has a child with juvenile diabetes only knows the life sentence given to him if there is no cure. There is no greater love on this earth than a parent's love for their child. I only hope that my son has a chance to live a normal life with a cure. If stem cell is his chance then give it to him. If you disagree, then wait till it is your child before you respond.

Posted by: Chris at September 30th, 2004 9:41 PM

Stem cells do not just come from embryonic sources. In fact, stem cells that come from the adult liver have been shown to do remarkably better at regenerating and living longer than some of the embryonic cell research. There are umbilical cord blood stem cells that do very well and are very promising too. My problem lies with those who choose to push the stem cell research debate into the political realm. Patti Davis and her brother Ron Reagan make broad and specific jabs at President Bush, as well as Bush's opponent Kerry, stating that Bush is somehow against stem cell research and is the enemy for the promise of that research. However, the opposite is the truth. Bush is the first president to offer the federal funding for stem cell research. Yes, he limited the amount of embryonic cells that could be used with this federal money, but I think he really did a great thing for stem cell research rather than the oft perceived opposite. The great part of Bush's plan was that he was the most respectful to most of the people who live in America and who would be providing this federal funding. We are a nation of people on all sides of the debate, that range the full spectrum from the far left to the far right. The problem that the liberals and Democrats seem to forget is that there are those in this country that believe that life begins at conception. So, what Bush did was to give the stem cell research the federal funding it needed without rattling too many cages on those from the right side of the fence. He compromised, but I think he did so in a very respectful and promising way. He took all of the views on this issue and figured out a way to provide federal funding for such a volatile subject. The biggest problem is that those who are so opposed to Bush over this subject are so based on 1/2 truths and rush to judgment. I have yet to hear anyone put their money where their mouth is and to start a company that retrieves cord blood, or even proposes to retrieve tissue from the over 1 million abortions that they so desire. I mean, if 1 million fetuses are being tossed out because the right of a woman to choose is much more precious than that of their mothers and the lives of those living with disabilities are more precious than those fetuses, why don't they propose to harvest that tissue as well. They don't usually go there because they know that is MUCH more offensive than just the abortions or embryonic cell research proposes. These people could give their money, time, and energy to other companies around the world that don't have to abide by the laws of America. I mean, if they are serious, lets prove that embryonic stem cells are the most promising...because as I've done the research...it doesn't look that that is the magic bullet. So, before we go touting federal funding from the entire population of America for such ethical problems (and this isn't just religious folk vs. non-religious folk because the sanctity of a human life should be much more universal than what the tenents of a certain faith sanction as well as our own constitution ["life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" should be for ALL people...and if one is promised life, then one who has yet to be born and does not have a voice should be given proper consideration]) lets think about what is best for America, the whole of American people, as well as for those who are seeking cures for terrible diseases.

Thank you for letting me get that off of my chest! (I know this is an old topic...but just had to chime in...because I can, because I'm an American with a computer and internet access!)

Blessings,

Jill :]

Posted by: Jill Rains at October 12th, 2004 4:28 PM

It's a wonderful thing to campaign for something you believe in so strongly, as does Patti Davis, and to accept speaking engagements to spread the word.
But for goodness' sake - it's bad enough taking a $15,000.00 fee from a CHARITY (the Salvation Army!)to do so, but SUING them because the engagement is cancelled is beyond comprehension. I don't care if the money was going toward RESEARCH (I suspect not) it's totally DISGUSTING!!

Posted by: Mignon Ross at October 18th, 2004 6:36 PM

I am only 15 years old but after finishing this research project on stem cells recently(by recently i mean today) I have had to agree that stem cell research should be done. I have a grandmother that has Alzheimer's, my whole dad's side of the family has diabetes, and a friend that can't walk. Of course i would love to see this change. Who wouldn't?? it would be like witnessing a miracle if stem cell research was taken so far as to find cures for loved ones and people all around the world. So i say keep up the work and save the world, one person at a time.

Posted by: Emma at October 29th, 2006 6:38 PM

How many of you know what a 5 day old embryo is - really? What does totipotent mean? Can you tell me how a Teratoma forms? Can you tell me how many frozen embryos are normally expended in an effort to get a woman pregnant? So now you're telling me an embryo is the equivelant of a human fetus? Is a fetus the equivelant of a human life? The fetus does have one feature that makes the decision to destroy it immoral and that is it is already forming into a human life - it has defined itself and cannot become anything other than a human. Can you say the same for an embryo? An embryo can become a tumor in the right environment - what if I want to call them all tumors? Am I wrong? I'm just as correct as those who want to call them human - but that's silly isn't it? An embryo requires implantation in a uterus to be considered a pre-human, since that is the only way possible that it can become human. What about those that will be "selected out" or discarded? They are by definition waste. What about those perfectly usable embryos when there just aren't enough women to be interested in being implanted with? They are waste. What happens to all that waste? Do the 6 Billion people in this earth really need to put off research for curing the world's diseases to worry about some stains in a petri dish that are going into the trash? And if the mother is to be ignored in the equation of life, let's just implant those embryos whereever and create living tumors - then they may live to reach their full potential.
So, please pro-lifers - can't you all take a break from trying to pretend you are scientists and go back to saving some fetuses???

Posted by: Kathleen at December 4th, 2006 12:38 PM

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