Saturday, July 22, 2006

It's the Ethics (and the Money), Stupid

As anyone who has followed the Left-Stream Media coverage of the embryonic stem cell debate should know by now:

*** There is no such thing as adult stem cell and cord blood stem cell research nor are there actual benefits and treatments as a result of said non-existent research.

*** Millions will suffer and die if the Federal government does not sanction embryonic stem cell research.

*** President Bush is directly responsible for the suffering and death of Christopher Reeve (aka Superman).

In the real world, of course, none of those statements are true. However, it's difficult to find any objective and clear presentation of the facts regarding stem cell research in the Left-Stream Media.

Embryonic stem cell research has yet to result in any legitimate treatment. Meanwhile, adult and cord blood stem cell research have already resulted in a number of treatments. Even so, the successes of these treatments has been largely ignored or overshadowed by the debate over an unproven avenue of research. Why is that? The cliche one often hears is, "Follow the money." I believe that that is ultimately the case with respect to embryonic stem cell research as well. However, we must first, "Follow the ethics."

On July 19, 2006 Jim Lehrer, anchor of PBS's Newshour with Jim Lehrer, interviewed NewsHour Health Correspondent Susan Dentzer in the wake of President Bush's veto of the embryonic stem-cell bill. I found the following exchange to be quite interesting:
JIM LEHRER: Now, the importance that many scientists put on this bill, on the expansion of federal funding, what was it -- was it just about money, or was there more involved than that?

SUSAN DENTZER: Not technically about money, because of course this bill would have carried no additional appropriations of federal dollars. And in fact, the National Institutes of Health budget is, if anything, shrinking at the moment, so the question about how much funding will be available over time is on the table.

But essentially it would have just made it much, much easier for people to get new human embryonic stem cells to work with. And more important, I think some people believe is (sic) it would have removed a little bit of the ethical cloud that hangs over this research.

Some institutions appear to have hung back even to apply for federal funds just out of a concern that they might alienate alumni, for example. There's a concern that, in the private investment world, investors are skittish about investing in this, so that biotech companies that want to do this would have trouble raising money.

So that's been a hope that you could over time dissipate this ethical cloud and basically create much more interest in a very important area of research.(Emphasis added)
Read the entire transcript or watch the video at

Make no mistake. There is an ongoing effort, wittingly or unwittingly, to break down the moral barriers that have, for the most part, separated us from the beasts. Once we begin treating the human embryo as a commodity, we will be just that much closer to the worlds depicted in Soylent Green and The Island - and I don't believe that to be an exaggeration.

I do think that there are many supporters of embryonic stem cell research who are not malevolent, but sincerely think that ESCR is the answer, regardless of its failures thus far. Although they are sincere, they are sincerely wrong and even short sighted on this issue. Sure, there may be some short term gain (however unlikely) from ESCR, but at what cost to ourselves, our society and to humanity.