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If you take the king's shilling, you do the king's bidding

One recurring theme of President Bush's critics -- highlighted during his last run for re-election -- was his opposition to certain forms of stem cell research. He had banned it, he had blocked it, he had made it illegal to continue except under very tight restrictions. Citing his concern for the misuse and destruction of human embryos, he had limited research to stem cells from adults and a limited supply of fetal samples.

Well, not really.

What Bush did was to limit federal-funded research. He said -- flat out -- that any such research would be conducted without any financial backing from the government. If anyone else wanted to pick up the tab, they were quite free to do so.

So, how's that working out?

Let's see what one reporter for the Boston Herald discovered when he looked into it, Boston has a hard-earned reputation for being on the cutting edge of medical science, with scads of renowned universities and acclaimed hospitals.

What he learned was that medical research is expensive, and researchers are unhappy with the restrictions -- but learning to live with it.

It's a refreshing change from attitudes such as Planned Parenthood's, which apparently thinks that it can freely ignore laws it doesn't like.

There are damned decent arguments on both sides of the argument here, and I find myself on the edge. On the one hand, I can see the moral argument of those who fear the destruction of human embryos in the name of research -- it falls somewhere between Frankenstein and cannibalism. On the other, the potential benefits of such research could benefit literally millions of people worldwide, people afflicted with a host of crippling, even fatal ailments.

Including me.

Right now, I think that the situation is about right. Enough people have enough concerns about the ethics of fetal stem cell research that I believe their objections should be respected. On the other hand, the outright ban of such research would be overreaching. Saying "do what you want, but you're not getting taxpayer money to help you" seems to strike the right balance.

And one of the great things about this country is that if enough people disagree, we can change the policy.


Comments (30)

Centrally planned research.... (Below threshold)
kim:

Centrally planned research. Hmmmm. Didn't that give us global warming?
====================================

Why is the word "ban" even ... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

Why is the word "ban" even in this article. Nothing about Stem Cell Research is banned. The libs can use their aborted babies all they want for research and no one is stopping them.

The libs just cannot dip into my back pocket and make me pay for their research.

If they want to do research, it's on their on fricken dime and their concience. Then again, they dont' have one since they think partial birth abortion is a right. You know the own where the baby is almost all the way out of the chute, but jut before the head comes out, a docter murders it by shoving a large bore needle into the UN-ANESTHESITIZED VIABLE INFANT PERSON and sucks the brains out.

That way, the baby is dead (as in killed) just before what used to be a head pops out. Just cut the cord and drop it in the trash.

Keep it up libs. Not to worry though, you'll make up for aborting so many of yourselves with 10s of millions uneducated Mexicans, so you'll still have a mssive victim class to control.

Is our govt supposed to fun... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Is our govt supposed to fund all research?

I dont see the problem with private industry funding its own research? If its a viable product or service, there will scores of potential investors. If it doesnt make much sense, then probably not too much.

Adult stem cell is proven t... (Below threshold)
GeminiChuck:

Adult stem cell is proven to cure - R&D for that should be expanded before going into the ethical mirkiness of embroyo stem cell research. And what about stem cells from the placenta? Why isnt there a push for additional research there? Sure dont hear much about it. The lefties have an agenda and its not about saving lives - its all about establishing humans beings from embroyo stage to pre-birth as non-entities. gc

Adult Stem Cells - over 70 ... (Below threshold)

Adult Stem Cells - over 70 proven therapies, over 1300 clinical trials.

Embryonic Stem Cells - 0 and 0.

Who pays the piper, calls t... (Below threshold)
kim:

Who pays the piper, calls the tune, and enjoys the music. Why is that violin screaming?
===================

I can answer that on one le... (Below threshold)
kim:

I can answer that on one level, GC, but it ironically makes your point. What is potentially derivable from fetal cells may be different from what is available from placental, or adult stem cells. The fetus is unique.

Easy solution. There are enough naturally occurring miscarriages daily in the world to give researchers enough material to carry them into the next tens of millenia.

I do suspect the tempest is agenda driven.
==========

There are plenty of long-sh... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

There are plenty of long-shot cures and treatments for all manner of ailments that get funding privately, because private capital--no government funding was crucial to the development.

Why are we so sure that fetal cell research is so worthy if private capital, which has funded all types of research, won't fund it? In fact, private money will fund it if it's worthy of funding.

"And one of the great thing... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"And one of the great things about this country is that if enough people disagree, we can change the policy."

Ahhh, ignorance.

"June 26 -- Americans by a 2-1 margin support stem cell research and say it should be funded by the federal government, despite controversy over its use of human embryos."

You'll also find that the opponents of stem cell research cite religion as their main "reasoning." So religion is a major factor in delaying American scientific progress - and Jay Tea sides with the religious crowd. He states he has a "laissez-faire relationship with religion, for the most part" but you'll strangely find him siding with the neo-cons. every. single. time.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/DailyNews/poll010626.html

It appears to me that plent... (Below threshold)
Dodo David:

It appears to me that plenty of people have been misled as to what embryonic stem cell research is all about.

Embryonic stem cell research doesn't terminate a growing, developing human who is in the fetal stage of life. Embryonic stem cell research doesn't terminate a human who is in a woman's womb. That is what abortion does.

Embryonic stem cell research involves blastocysts that aren't in women's bodies, that aren't developing into fetuses. The blastocysts are donated, surplus embryos produced by in vitro fertilization.

If left alone, the blastocysts won't turn into humans. These blastocysts have been donated because they have been rejected for implantation. Thus, the only thing that these blastocysts are good for is research.

Using these blastocysts for stem cell research won't result in the loss of human life because these blastocysts will never become human beings.

Therefore, it is my conclusion that opposition to embryonic stem cell research is based on a false dilemma being perpetuated by people who cannot tell the difference between life in the womb and embryonic material outside the womb.

Now, should federal tax dollars be spent on embryonic stem cell research? No, not if such research can be financed with private funds.

Kim - the overarching point... (Below threshold)
GeminiChuck:

Kim - the overarching point is that adult stem cells have been proven to work - fetal stems cells have not. Primary reason is that rejection is greatly reduced when one's own cells are involved in the cell repair. When a politician (Edwards) claims that the crippled will walk if the Govt pays for embronic stem cell reseach, I think we see which side is out to push a political agenda. gc

I like your rating system.<... (Below threshold)
Teach:

I like your rating system.

Very much.

jp2, it's a shame your feta... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

jp2, it's a shame your fetal cells were not used.

Bottom line is we're not using Tax Payer money to fund this type of research. Like Mitchell says, when it is worthy of funding, plenty of private funding will be there. Where's the millions from AlGore and John Kerry's second rich wife? How bout George Soros or Rosie? You don't see them putting their money where their mouths are, but they sure don't have a problem spending OTHER peoples money. You would think that John F'ing Kerry would kick in loads cash earned by his rich wife's dead husband. That's his major accomplishment in life.

While Jay Fitzgerald attemp... (Below threshold)
Rovin:

While Jay Fitzgerald attempts to report on the economic shortcomings of embryonic stem-cell research, the man found no space as to the progress, (or lack of progress) in the research itself.

To date, current research on embryonic stem cells has resulted in no promising results.

Ironically, a leading pro-ESCR advocate is the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, but ESCR research has failed in fighting this disease.

Past supporters of this controversial research are now speaking out about the false hype surrounding the results. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that doubters are coming out of the woodwork. Paul Billings, who studied stem cells' effects and co-founded a stem cell bank, said that hopes for major new medical treatments based on embryonic stem cells are "very remote". "The problems are so complex that we're not likely to be able to tackle them with the stem cell gambit in the foreseeable future."

And it's all about the MONEY:

"Of the 15 US biotech companies solely devoted to developing cures using stem cells, only two focus on embryos. Embryo stem cell research is at the drawing-board stage - not for lack of funds but for lack of promising research to finance. Venture capitalists have no agenda beyond making money; if they see embryo projects that are likely to bear fruit over the next five to seven years - the usual VC time horizon - they will fund them. That the market is speaking so loudly against embryo stem cell research probably explains why embryo researchers are so eager to reverse the ban on government funding."
LINK

Politics and Money-------funny game they play. Starving the children (lunch programs) falacy in the 90's -----and now the global warming falacy---same ol' DNC playbook.

It never ceases to amaze me... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

It never ceases to amaze me how much cons hate science, particularly as they choose to live off its results.

Foolish hypocritical Americans.

So, cb, I presume you've co... (Below threshold)

So, cb, I presume you've contributed heavily into fetal stem cell research? You send checks regularly? You have quit your job and devoted all your time into the program?

Or are you a "chickenhawk" on the issue?

J.

cb is so ignorant he hasn't... (Below threshold)
kim:

cb is so ignorant he hasn't figured out that 'cons' haven't much of an opinion about fetuses. He's just curled up tight in his nurturing bias.
======================================

Strike that last post; I wa... (Below threshold)
kim:

Strike that last post; I was confused by cb's uncivil terminology. 'Cons', hunh, what's next, 'progs'?
=====================

Embryonic stem cell rese... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

Embryonic stem cell research involves blastocysts that aren't in women's bodies, that aren't developing into fetuses. The blastocysts are donated, surplus embryos produced by in vitro fertilization.

The objection some have isn't so much the use of left over embryos for research as it is the fear that a desire for more will lead people to create embryos solely for experimentation.

It never ceases to amaze me... (Below threshold)

It never ceases to amaze me how libs hate truth... oh, sorry, that's a lie, it doesn't amaze me at all... and make like this is about hating science and have convinced people of the out and out lie that embryonic stem cell research is ILLEGAL or BANNED when it is absolutely not.

Also, if the government is ... (Below threshold)
Taltos:

Also, if the government is funding all this reasearch all over the place why isn't it getting a cut of the payoff when a discovery is made?

I love how civil behavior j... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I love how civil behavior just parachutes in, delivers his inanities, and jumps out.

Where is all that Liberal Nuance, huh? Nada. Nunca.

That's what we love about libs; it doesn't matter what the discussion is, or what it's about, but if they FEEL strongly about something, then by God, they must be right!!

How much of his own money h... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

How much of his own money has jp2 contributed to fetal stem cell research?

Oh, that's right...none. But he wants everyone else to pay for it. Keep sucking that government tit like a good Liberal.

Dodo David,Are the... (Below threshold)
Ali:

Dodo David,

Are the blastocysts fertilized? Yes.

What are the reasons said blastocysts could be rejected for implantation; What would you be able to research and would the results be accurate discounting the reasons for rejection?

Forget research. Just thro... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Forget research. Just through the cells in the garbage.

Why throw good money at science that might revolutionize disease management.

I'd rather let the free market of insurance cull out the dead weight of those who can't afford good genetics.

Smart American businessmen.

Why, cb, throw tax money at... (Below threshold)

Why, cb, throw tax money at something many tax payers find abhorrent when private funds are available?

And it's not the anti-abortionists who are interested in culling the gene pool.

I agree. If the Iraq War c... (Below threshold)
Rourke:

I agree. If the Iraq War can't be funded privately, let's end it.

"I'd rather let the free ma... (Below threshold)
FMK:

"I'd rather let the free market of insurance cull out the dead weight of those who can't afford good genetics."

That makes absolutely no sense. I know you are trying to be sarcastic, but WTF ????

"the potential benefits of ... (Below threshold)

"the potential benefits of such research could benefit literally millions of people worldwide, people afflicted with a host of crippling, even fatal ailments."

Really? Prove it.

I could say that electromagnetic waves coming from televisions "could benefit literally millions of people worldwide, people afflicted with a host of crippling, even fatal ailments." Time to invest! Right?

There is no evidence that any kind of stem cell research - embryonic or otherwise - will be economically feasible for anyone except the exceptionally wealthy. None.

ESCR is the newest snake oil, and it won't be the last...

Adult Stem Cells - over ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Adult Stem Cells - over 70 proven therapies, over 1300 clinical trials.
Embryonic Stem Cells - 0 and 0.

Except for the ones you choose to ignore, eh? Here are a couple, just in the last week alone.

If you can't make your case without lying, don't bother trying to make it at all.




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