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Thread: Final blow in spinal cord research

  1. #1

    Final blow in spinal cord research

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    GUEST COLUMN: Final blow in spinal cord research

    Author: The Valdosta Daily Times
    Publication Date: 2004-11-12

    For most people in the spinal cord injury community, the presidential election of 2004 was disappointing and, for many, alarming. The election seems like a final blow in a devastating series of hits in the past three weeks; On October 10, Christopher Reeve unexpectedly died. He was the champion for hope and cure for spinal cord injury. In the aftermath of his death, a doctor said that people with spinal cord injury on respirators lived only an average of seven years. This outdated statistic caused panic in the community, prompting many to ask whether they (or their loved ones) were living on "borrowed time." Christopher had the best medical care and died despite the care. This thought probably ran across the minds of every person, parent, spouse, sibling, or friend.

    Within days after his death, a high-profile squabble occurred over John Edwards' statement in an Iowa rally that if he and John Kerry were "allowed to do their work, people like Christopher Reeve will get out of their wheelchairs, to walk again". Many people, including Bill Frist and Charles Krauthammer (both doctors, respectively the majority leader of the Senate and a spinal-injured doctor/columnist who serves on the President's Bioethics Council), claimed that such "false hope" is "crass", "shameful", and "loathsome". Whether intended or not, the clear message was that people with disabilities should not expect to get better soon or within their lifetimes.

    Then came the little publicized news that the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Act, 438 to 0. This bill proposed that the National Institutes of Health support collaborative research to reverse paralysis but had sat stalled in committees for two years. Unfortunately, this bill was stopped in the Senate by an anonymous senator who had applied a "secret hold" to stop the bill from coming to a vote for "ethical reasons." The senator(s) who chose to stop the vote clearly thought it was shameful because he or she remains firmly anonymous.

    On November 2 in a closely fought campaign, for whatever reason, President George W. Bush won both the popular and electoral vote.

    Although only a few days have passed since the election, we have heard little to change the drumbeat of pessimism and hopelessness. While some people might accuse me of being partisan, I don't think that I am. I have spent the time since the election looking in vain on the Internet and television for signs that the leadership of our nation is committed to reversing suffering of people with disabilities including spinal cord injury. I am looking for a little bone of hope.

    I pay my taxes and am willing to pay more if it means hope will be there.

    The only sliver of hope that came out of the elections was the decisive vote for Proposition 71. This bill in California allocates $3 billion over 10 years to fund stem cell research in the state. The voters in California approved of this unprecedented bill to spend $300 million per year for stem cell research Yes, it may be a lot for the state of California to carry the burden for the United States and those who suffer around the world but I want to remind people that $300 million per year is only 1% of the NIH budget. Each and everyday our country spends some 30 million dollars a day to take care of those confined to wheelchairs: it only spends 30 million a year to cure them and to set them free of those chairs. The Congress approved a supplemental bill to spend $87 bill ion to hold and rebuild Iraq and will receive another $70 billion request in the first quarter of 2005 to finish the job. It is not only a drop in the bucket but it is clear that the bucket doesn't care.

    Charles Ellis is a Valdosta resident.

    [This message was edited by mk99 on 11-16-04 at 07:25 PM.]

  2. #2
    I am shocked. This article plagiarized what I wrote. It is taken word for word from a posting that I made on November 7, 2004 in the Politics forum.


  3. #3
    looks like South Georgia Media may be contributing to some funding?

    btw Wise, your link is wrong... try this one.

  4. #4
    I have a .pdf copy of the article in question, if needed.

  5. #5
    Scott, thanks. I just sent a short note to the editor. Wise.

  6. #6
    I guess someone has been reading CC huh.

    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

  7. #7
    Dr. Young, when I read this article I was surprised how good he was regarding his opinion. Right on the money! Now I know it was yours. Whow! I didn't know that they can copy someone's else article and put their own name. Maybe he liked too much what you wrote, and agree completely.

  8. #8
    I think the paper needs to expose that Charles Ellis is a plagarist.

  9. #9
    Wow. I'm glad they published it for the general public to read but I can't believe the audacity of them putting their own name on this. They should have contacted you Dr. Young and asked if they could use it in their paper.
    They should come clean and do a re-print with the real author's name.

  10. #10
    Banned Faye's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Originally posted by hope2findacure:

    Wow. I'm glad they published it for the general public to read but I can't believe the audacity of them putting their own name on this. They should have contacted you Dr. Young and asked if they could use it in their paper.
    They should come clean and do a re-print with the real author's name.
    A reprint with the real author's name would be a great way for the public to read it again!

    It's a very educational piece!!!

    Still, it is wrong to send an Op/Ed in as your own without getting the author's permission.

    ~It's troubling that exit polls and vote totals were so far out of whack. "I've spent my whole life in marketing. The difference is clearly beyond any sampling variability. ... The community of statisticians and media experts need to not let this be dropped"~ Bill Hawkes, a retired A.C. Nielsen Co. statistician.

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