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Thread: Stem Cell Caution

  1. #1

    Stem Cell Caution

    This was written by a self-proclaimed "liberal" who is head of one of the organizations opposing Proposition 71 in California.

    http://www.tompaine.com/articles/200...ll_caution.php
    Stem Cell Caution
    Richard Hayes
    May 24, 2006

    Richard Hayes, PhD, is executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society in Oakland, California.

    Support for stem cell research has become a cause célèbre among Democrats. Last year New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine made it a big part of his successful campaign for Governor. This year New York Attorney General Elliott Spitzer is proposing a $1 billion stem cell bond issue as part of his own gubernatorial campaign. In Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill is spotlighting stem cell research in her effort to unseat Republican Senator Jim Talent. And this week marks the one year anniversary of the passage of Castle-DeGette, the House bill that expands federal funding for stem cell research. Senate Democrats are rallying to push for a vote as soon as possible on the Senate version of this bill.

    I’m a life-long liberal Democrat, pro-choice on abortion and a supporter of innovative medical research. I believe that stem cell research holds promise, and that the Bush administration's policies are unnecessarily restrictive. Now stem cells appear to be giving Democrats a potent vote-getting wedge issue.

    Why am I worried about this?

    I’m worried because in their over-the-top enthusiasm for stem cell and cloning research, Democrats are ignoring the many ways in which it could, if irresponsibly promoted and inadequately regulated, have consequences at odds with core Democratic values. The short-term political advantage that fervent support for stem cell research now gives Democrats could backfire when the problematic aspects of this research come to light.

    There’s no question that stem cell research should go forward. Stem cells may help scientists understand the basic biological processes that underlie certain diseases, and lead to findings about drugs or other therapies. And, at least in theory, stem cells may allow replacement of injured or diseased tissues with healthy ones.

    At the same time, we have to recognize that stem cell research is in its infancy. Fundamental questions need to be answered before the therapeutic potential of stem cells can honestly be assessed. Can the tendency of embryonic stem cells to create tumors be eliminated? If not, it’s difficult to see how they will be able to serve as a source of replacement tissues. Can adult stem cells be coaxed into a greater variety of cell types? If not, they may be valuable for a worthy but limited range of applications.

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  2. #2
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    Dr. Young,the stem cell issue will also be a large factor in Govenor Doyle's re-election campaign. He is passionate on this research and intends to stand firm.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by lilsister
    Dr. Young,the stem cell issue will also be a large factor in Govenor Doyle's re-election campaign. He is passionate on this research and intends to stand firm.
    Deb, Governor Doyle is a good man. He understands the importance of the research and the silliness of the whole stem cell debate.

    When people like Richard Hayes says that they are for stem cell research and then obstructs the research by raising unsubstantiated fears of tumors and other problems, it is not only sad but hypocritical. His CGS group strongly opposed Proposition 71 and received funding from anti-ESC groups. Worse, at the same time that they opposed ESC research, they have done little or nothing to support umbilical cord blood and adult stem cell research.

    Yes, it is true that an airplane can crash if it flies. Does this mean that we should not try to fly?
    Wise.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    Yes, it is true that an airplane can crash if it flies. Does this mean that we should not try to fly?
    Wise.
    Exactly.

    According to reigning Republican philosophy, however, it'd be better to blow the plane up before it gets on the runway. You know, just in case it might crash.

    Fear. Kill. Fear. Kill. Fear.
    "I'm lost. I'm no guide, but I'm by your side." - Pearl Jam

    "It decomposes, mendicant, therefore, truly, one calls this the world." -- Loka Sutta

  5. #5
    I am so tired of hearing from the Center for Genetics people; stopping prop. 71 isn't enough for them now. I really should cross the bay and chain myself to their door or something. Liberal my ass!
    Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

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