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March 30, 2005

Stem Cell Debate: Freedom versus Fear

The current stem cell debate is best framed as a contest between freedom and fear. Progressive Democrats believe that if we give freedom to our finest minds cures may result for scourges like Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and Multiple Sclerosis. Optimism and responsibility are watchwords.

Regressive Republicans fear change and scorn responsibility. These extremists, like Willard, reject hope and ignore the suffering propagated by their intolerance. They seek to impose their personal religious prejudices on the entire community.

"People suffering from Parkinson's, from deafness, from diabetes and from a host of other diseases and conditions potentially alleviated by stem-cell therapies should not be forced to suffer -- or die -- for the sake of someone else's religious belief," writes the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Amen.

Posted by Bob at 02:28 PM in Massachusetts | Permalink


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Tracked on Jun 23, 2005 10:29:58 PM


I beg to differ.

The current stem cell debate is best framed as a contest between chattle ownership of human beings, and not.

a) Adult Stem Cells and cord-harvested stem cells: lots of extant therapies, lots of trials underway (including one in our area for Alzheimers), lots of promise, no significant moral or ethical considerations. Thanks in part to the Catholic Church, you can grow nerve cells from stem cells in the nose. Shades of Sleeper, I know.

b) Embryonic Stem Cells - no extant therapies, no clinical trials underway, a massive moral and ethical issue. No evidence they will work better than ASC. Harvested from a 'quickened' egg.

c) This particular instance of thereupudic Cloning - take mama's egg, inject other cell's nucleus, convince it it's been fertilized. If implanted in a uterus, it might very well become a perfectly good adult (the procedure is substantially similar to the creation of Dolly). But, instead, they let it grow a bit in vitro, abort it, and harvesting the cells they want.

How about this, instead: let's just let the thing grow to full size, in a vat, and then harvest the organs? Would that be okay?Or, we could just grow it for meat, to feed the starving masses and tsunami victims. PETA would approve. I'm sure it would be a delicacy - mmmm....humveal...

Yeah, okay. Let's not.

Posted by: jrp | Mar 30, 2005 12:28:47 PM

I am sorry bob, that is not fair. Reasonable people can differ on this issue. And why do you speak for all progressives.
What is a progressive anyway? Tell me bob.

Posted by: The troll | Mar 30, 2005 1:51:09 PM

Honestly, if cloning humans for spare parts is legal in the US, then I want the CloneCo World Headquarters to be in Massachusetts if that means it's not in California. I want the humveal manufacturing plant here rather than in New Jersey. The Commonwealth simply cannot afford to say "We want jobs, but not those kind of jobs."

As long as it's legal in the US, we're competing with other states for jobs, and not only scientific jobs, but also jobs for support staff -- people to build the labs, clean the labs, and be admins for the researchers.

Let the Feds worry about the ethical considerations. If Congress wants to ban it, then that's a different discussion, but for Massachusetts to unilaterally disarm is foolish.

Posted by: sco | Mar 30, 2005 5:04:04 PM

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