Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stem Cells & Judgment

This week, on Monday, March 9, 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order on stem cells and a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity. This reversed an order signed by former President George W. Bush.

According to Voice of America, researchers are excited about this change:
Medical experts in Miami are hoping to speed up research using embryonic stem cells. Their work may lead to advances in treatment for spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses.

Researchers at the University of Miami Stem Cell Institute responded quickly to President Obama's decision, which reversed a policy signed by former President George W. Bush. The school is the site of most stem-cell research in the area, and experts say the lifting of the ban on human embryonic stem cell work could open the door to more public funding.

Neurosurgeon Dalton Dietrich said he was excited by Monday's announcement at the White House. "I have been waking up many mornings very excited about the possibility of using these cells to target many of the problems we see with stroke, brain trauma, spinal cord injury," he said.

While opponents of this argue that this is another one of President Obama's pro-abortion moves, intelligent people who have taken the time to research it, are not. The embryos used for stem cells are not from aborted babies. Noted on the National Institute of Health's Stem Cell Research Page:
"Many years of detailed study of the biology of mouse stem cells led to the discovery, in 1998, of how to isolate stem cells from human embryos and grow the cells in the laboratory. These are called human embryonic stem cells. The embryos used in these studies were created for infertility purposes through in vitro fertilization procedures and when they were no longer needed for that purpose, they were donated for research with the informed consent of the donor."
Why can't we just use adult stem cells?
"Stem cells are important for living organisms for many reasons. In the 3- to 5-day-old embryo, called a blastocyst, stem cells in developing tissues give rise to the multiple specialized cell types that make up the heart, lung, skin, and other tissues. In some adult tissues, such as bone marrow, muscle, and brain, discrete populations of adult stem cells generate replacements for cells that are lost through normal wear and tear, injury, or disease."
I am not pro-abortion. I am pro-science, however. It is quite easy for people to argue against this research when they don't have a disease that will be greatly affected by its research to cure it. I have had personal experience, both with myself and with loved ones, for a list of diseases that can be helped by stem cell research: Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and even heart attack victims. All of these ailments, as well as many others, will benefit from this research and will hopefully someday have a cure.

To throw out an attitude that it is just immoral when you are working off of the wrong information - as well as not realizing what it is like to struggle with such a debilitating disease -is not only misinformed it is ignorant.

So, perhaps the better way - in their eyes - to deal with these embryos is to just throw them away? That is not only stupid, it is selfish as well. And it certainly doesn't show much compassion to those people, and all their families, who could benefit from research that could lead to a cure from a terrifying and debilitating disease or injury. I suggest that they not only do a little research, but think what it would be like to walk - or not - in someone else's shoes before they are so quick to judge.

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