I say three cheers for morally licit stem cell research (SCR). And I hope and pray that cures will continue to be found for Denise Barker and the thousands like her (Roundup, 7/15/05).
My question remains, however: Why pursue embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) which kills a human embryo, made in God's image and likeness, and which so far has produced not one single cure, when adult stem cells (ASC) have successfully treated more than 80 medical problems (according to the National Institutes of Health), and have killed no one?
Some of the diseases and injuries already being treated successfully using ASC and cord bloodnclude: arthritis, anemia, spinal cord injuries, blindness, "bubble boy" syndrome, several cancers, liver and pancreas diseases, Parkinson's and stroke damage, Evan's syndrome (a fatal blood disorder) and multiple sclerosis (the disease afflicting Denise).
There have been zero treatments and zero clinical trials using ESC's.
Is it rational to grasp at a straw when a life raft is nearby?
Austin Ruse, president of the Culture of Life Foundation, says: "One of the saddest aspects of the debate over embryonic-destructive research is the false hope ... given to ... sick people who are told that a cure ... is imminent."
In 2002, the American Diabetes Association came out in support of embryonic stem cell research. Assuming a cure is developed, it would require 850 million to 1.7 billion eggs from 85 million women to produce enough eggs to treat all the diabetes in the U.S. The process of procuring these eggs is very risky for the women due to the high hormone doses and the surgery required (David Prentice, "The Science of Cloning," 2004).
And, no, it is not true that "embryos will never go to a full term pregnancy." They can, provided no one cuts out their stem cells. Two such adopted, formerly-frozen embryos (now healthy 5-year-old twins) appeared before Congress with their adoptive parents, Lucinda and John Borden, on July 17, 2001, to prove the point.
Let's support research that cures and doesn't kill.
Carol Suhr, Pine