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Posted by imthinkingno on 2004.10.14 at 18:33
First of all, I think that people need to understand that President Bush did not stop Embryonic Stem Cell Research, he merely stopped federal funding. Anyone can donate if they wish.

That said, I think most of you know I am extremely pro-life. Therefore I do no support embryonic stem cell research. However, I felt sort of hypocritical because I did not know much about it other than they use embryos. I decided to research it to see if maybe it is a good thing.

I decided it is not. Here is why:

Did you know that: A man in his mid-50s had been diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 49. The disease grew progressively, leading to tremors and rigidity in the patient's right arm. Traditional drug therapy did not help.

Stem cells were harvested from the patient's brain using a routine brain biopsy procedure. They were cultured and expanded to several million cells. About 20 percent of these matured into dopamine-secreting neurons. In March 1999, the cells were injected into the patient's brain.

Three months after the procedure, the man's motor skills had improved by 37 percent and there was an increase in dopamine production of 55.6 percent. One year after the procedure, the patient's overall Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale had improved by 83 percent — this at a time when he was not taking any other Parkinson's medication!

Did anyone hear about this on the news? I know I didn't.

What about this: A study conducted by the Washington Medical Center in Seattle involved 26 rapidly deteriorating MS patients. First, physicians stimulated stem cells from the patients' bone marrow to enter the bloodstream. They then harvested the stem cells and gave the patients strong chemotherapy to destroy their immune systems. Finally, the researchers reintroduced the stem cells into the patients, hoping they would rebuild healthy immune systems and ameliorate the MS symptoms.

It worked. Of the 26 patients, 20 stabilized and six improved. Three patients experienced severe infections and one died.

Meanwhile in Canada, younger MS patients whose diseases were not as far advanced as those in the Washington study have shown even greater benefit from the same procedure. Six months after the first patient was treated, she was found to have no evidence of the disease on MRI scans. Three other patients have also received successful adult-stem-cell grafts with no current evidence of active disease.

It's still too early to tell whether the Canadian patients have achieved permanent remission or a cure, but there can be no question that the research is significant

Okay...didn't hear those either? Well, you must have heard one of these, right?

Israeli doctors inserted a paraplegic patient's own white blood cells into her severed spinal cord, after which she regained bladder control and the ability to wiggle her toes and move her legs.

Immune systems destroyed by cancer were restored in children using stem cells from umbilical-cord blood.

At Harvard University, mice with Type I diabetes were completely cured of their disease. The experiment was so successful that human trials are now planned.

Diabetic mice treated with adult stem cells achieved full insulin production and all lived. This is in contrast to an experiment in which embryonic stem cells injected into diabetic mice achieved a 3 percent insulin production rate and all the mice died.


No? You didn't? Me neither.

Most places didn't run the stories, yet you hear about the failures of embryonic stem cells curing animals constantly.

So why, if not one single human patient has even been treated with embryonic stem cells, but countless have been nearly cured does the media and activists continue to say embryonic is the way?

I understand people think that Embryonic Research hasn't been given the chance, but why? They have been researching for years now enjoying the same federal funding for as adult stem cell research for most of it, yet they haven;t done anything substantial.

Why, when something is working so well in its unperfected stages do we think we need to move onto something else that might be better? Why waste time and energy in two places when one already works and all the benefits have not been discovered?


(x-posted in my journal)

Posted by katybean on 2004.10.14 at 15:38
Ok, since this is a debate community, I'll throw my views out for the crowd.

I have Multiple Sclerosis. I am extremely pro-life. I could not, in good conscience, support an act of brutality and torture to further science in the hopes of a treatment or cure. ESPECIALLY when, apparently, there's been no foundation laid for such a thing to even work.


Posted by katybean on 2004.10.14 at 15:29
Hi! I'm new. Glad to find this community.

So, we've heard that embryonic stem cells will help cure us all up, and we've heard that embryonic stem cells will never do us any good. So...does anyone have any linkage or anything to read on this subject that I could read? What I mean is, where do I go to actually find out that embryonic stem cells have not yet aided in a cure/treatment for anything? I'm not being clear, but any links would be great!

ALSO!! Can we, as adults, donate stem cells? If it comes from bone marrow or other tissue, shouldn't we be allowed to donate it? And...umbilical blood as well. Shouldn't we be promoting these types of donations?

Amazing and thank you.


Hey, kids! Support ESCR!

Posted by princesswitch on 2004.10.14 at 16:57
Dear Washington Post,

Supposedly the intent of the Kids' Post section is to educate children on current issues before they can find all the comics. If your true intention was to educate children about the definitions of the terms "bias" and "slanted news", you have done a fantastic job today.


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