Sunday, July 31, 2005

Stem Cells vs Political Posturing

Senator Frist has announced his position on embryonic stem cell research. Those supporting him are touting his abilities as a cardio-thoracic surgeon.This in their minds makes him all knowing about all forms of medical science. This is simply not true. He has basic science background as do all medical doctors both in the pre-med college classes as well as in med school. From that point on, Dr. Frist concentrated on surgery and heart and lung disease. He has not been on the frontier of stem cell research. I applaud Dr. Frist on the many skills in which he excels but I am not so naive as to laud his insight into all things medical.

What makes it very difficult for me to accept Sen. Frists willingness to spend huge amounts of tax payer money on research that thus far has had only negative results.
Any and all breakthroughs in treatment of spinal cord injuries and other diseases have come from adult or cord blood cells. A method has been developed to stimulate adults bone marrow to increase the development of blood cells, separating the embryonic quality stem cells produced. All of this without destroying a single embryo.
Since I believe in the sanctity of life, this is the type of research I am willing to support.

My impression of Sen. Frist making his announcement is this a step toward his presidential bid. He is as bad as John Kerry and John Edwards playing on the emotions of people who are living with, or have a loved suffering from serious illness. Embryonic stem cells have not produced any successes. Adult stem cells have as we have seen in various media reports. For his political gain he is willing to spend millions of taxpayer dollars running after a thus far very disappointing research instead of advocating increasing funding of adult stem cells.

The Lancet quotes Neil Scolding, a British neurology researcher at the University of Bristol saying, "(An) increasing appreciation of the hazards of embryonic stem cells has rightly prevented the emergence or immediate prospect of any clinical therapies based on such cells. The natural propensity of embryonic stem cells to form [tumors], their exhibition of chromosomal abnormalities, and abnormalities in cloned mammals all present difficulties."
(Lifesite 6/15/05)

1 comment:

  1. Good post Pat. It is just plain evil that these people are so determined to find a reason to kill the innocent, especially when there are other more viable alternatives.