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First Lady, Edwards Clash Over Bush Stem Cell Policy

Schweddy

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Source:Yahoo News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - First lady Laura Bush and Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards (news - web sites) clashed on Monday over whether President Bush (news - web sites)'s restrictions on stem cell research should be maintained or lifted.
...
Laura Bush told the Pennsylvania Medical Society in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, that Bush's policy "makes it possible for researchers to explore the potential of stem cells, while respecting the ethical and moral implications associated with this research."

She said embryonic stem cell research is "very preliminary right now, and the implication that cures for Alzheimer's are around the corner is just not right."

"And it's really not fair to the people who are watching a loved one suffer with this," she said, noting her father died of Alzheimer's.

Edwards, in a conference call with reporters, vowed that a Kerry administration would reverse Bush's policy and expand stem cell research if elected.

"We have a plan to have groundbreaking stem cell research done that can affect millions of Americans. They are blocking that research," Edwards said.

He said Kerry would increase stem cell research funding from $25 million to $100 million, with the possibility of much more.
I agree with the First Lady and President on this one. We are not that close to finding cures. Plus, there are ADULT stem cells that are just as affective in this research.

What are your thoughts?
 

Mantrius

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Frankly, I think Bush's policy on banning embryonic stem cell research is moronic at best, and short sighted and potentially retarding the medical industries research at worst. The reason I say this is that the policy is simply based on moral idiocy when it comes to using fertilized embryos for stem cell harvesting. This is all because of the "Oh my god, we're killing babies!" syndrome that has overtaken this country and blinded us to the usefulness of stem cells and how they can benefit modern medecine. Now a lot of folks will say why not use adult stem cells, well the reason for this is because of the fact that adult stem cells are already programmed for a particular task, i.e. bone marrow stem cells only make bone marrow cells. Embryotic stem cells are unprogrammed and can be cloned, which gives us a virtually limitless supply of programmable stem cells to use in whatever we need to research. Keep in mind this is key for several reasons, the main reason is that using preprogrammed stem cells we can only research diseases that affect that particular cellular organism, also with many diseases there is always some unknown factor in curing it, with raw unprogrammed stem cells it's possible that we will stumble upon something new and undiscovered.

In this case Edwards is right, we need to open up this avenue of exploration, and at this point all Bush is doing is moral posturing without really exploring the facts of the matter.
 

Tasmin

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Whew! This lasted nearly a full six-pack! :drink

At best, embryonic stem cell research is another political football to be used in the abortion debate. This is, after all an election year. I will follow with some links and quotes regarding this issue. Embryonic research is yet another excuse to maintain legalized abortion.

You may say I am biased. You're Goddamn right I am biased. My wife and I have tried for years to have a child, not to mention a pregnancy that did not take. A fetal hearbeat was never found in that instance, and initially, we were told that the fetus was five weeks along when in fact it should have been 8-9 weeks along. Finally, thank the Lord, we are pregnant, and things thus far are progressing as they should. The issue of abortion is near and dear to my heart because of two facts. One: the fact that any dumbass with an intelligence quotient at or below their age seems to have no trouble reproducing, and yet, my wife and I, two reasonably intelligent, responsible, God-fearing Americans seem to have so much trouble. Two: the fact that these same morons can be irresponsible with their bodies, but don't have to worry about the consequences can go down to their corner clinic and have "it" "taken care of." Especially when there are so many couples literally lining up around the block to adopt newborns.

I know this may be slightly :eek:t , but I made the above statements to qualify my position. As I said, the embryonic stem cell debate is nothing more than an avenue to maintain legalized abortion, and it makes me sick!!! :evil:

I know this is getting long, but it's fittin' to get alot longer. And no, I don't make these statements, nor with any ulterior motives merely to pay lip service to my fellow conservatives on this board. I speak from the heart.

Many links were taken from this source: http://www.stemcellresearch.org/

Some news articles:
http://www.nbc5.com/health/3586536/detail.html
http://www.nbc4.com/health/3588307/detail.html
http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=18767
http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/0704/27demstemcell.html
This one doesn't bother to make the distinction between adult and embryonic stem cells, as many don't.

http://hdlighthouse.org/research/tissue/updates/0055stemcells.phtml
http://www.floridabaptistwitness.com/2874.article
"Though all the stem cell therapies to result in cures for patients so far have been derived from non-embryonic sources, many researchers continue to say stem cells from embryos have more potential. But, these researchers have no successful treatments of human beings to provide as evidence. Their research using embryonic cells in animals has had a tendency to produce tumors. Yet, they continue to lobby for Bush to drop his prohibition on federal funding of destructive embryonic stem cell experimentation"
http://www.lifenews.com/bio390.html
"Recent financial reports indicate that adult stem cell research is clearly a growth industry which can generate jobs and tax dollars. The success of such research is in sharp contrast to embryonic stem cell research, which has failed to achieve results in the research lab. "
Bush's policy on banning embryonic stem cell research is moronic at best,
If you did your homework, you would find that it was not an out-and-out ban, but rather limited to existing lines of embryonic stem cells. Read on:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/280woltf.asp
The Bush policy aims to promote medical progress by publicly funding research on a limited number of already-existing embryonic stem cell lines. But it also aims to respect the dignity of early human life by not using federal funds to promote embryo destruction. And it aims to respect the pluralism of the country by not forcing those who oppose embryo research to pay for it. "
"By contrast, Sen. Kerry is demagogic. He repeatedly overstates the imminent promise of stem cell therapies. He asserts, for example, that "stem cells have the power to slow the loss of a grandmother's memory." But leading scientists say that embryonic stem cells will likely do no such thing"
http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/08/10/editorial_ed1v.html

Contrary to the daily news, therapeutic research does not require human sacrifice, since adult stem cells are both plentiful and prolific. But journalists perpetuate this confusion every time they announce progress in the "controversial" field of stem cell research, not mentioning that the controversy involves embryos, whereas all the progress employs adult cells.

Sloppy reporting mingles two very different sources: one ethically compromised and untested; the other commonplace and well respected. Did you know the adult stem cells that make bone marrow transplants a lifesaver have been studied for nearly 30 years?

But setting aside ethical concerns about exploiting human lives, we can ask pragmatically: Do the raw and elusive embryo cells hold more promise than adult cells? So far, their wild profusion has produced tumors and invasive, irremovable growths choking healthy cells - unpromising indeed.
But adult stem cells are both adaptable and controllable. Present throughout the body, they can replace almost every part, from muscle and organs to nerve and heart cells. New successes keep coming.
http://nationalreview.com/comment/george200407280103.asp

...the policy is simply based on moral idiocy when it comes to using fertilized embryos for stem cell harvesting. This is all because of the "Oh my god, we're killing babies!" syndrome that has overtaken this country and blinded us to the usefulness of stem cells and how they can benefit modern medecine
This is not a syndrome! This is the right and proper stand that there is sanctity in human life, even at conception. To call this a "syndrome" is so ridiculous that if I went with my gut reaction, the verbage alone would get me kicked off this forum. I say again, embryonic stem cell research is nothing more than a subheading in the abortion debate. :argue

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/401asygk.asp
RON REAGAN'S SPEECH at the Democratic convention last night was expected to urge expanded funding for stem cell research using so-called "spare" embryos--and to highlight these cells' potential for treating the Alzheimer's disease that took his father's life.

He did neither. He didn't even mention Alzheimer's, perhaps because even strong supporters of embryonic stem cell research say it is unlikely to be of use for that disease. (Reagan himself admitted this on a July 12 segment of MSNBC's Hardball.) And he didn't talk about current debates on funding research using existing embryos. Instead he endorsed the more radical agenda of human cloning --mass-producing one's own identical twins in the laboratory so they can be exploited as (in his words) "your own personal biological repair kit" when disease or injury strikes"
Ron Reagan is merely towing the political line on this. Read the above, he isn't even courageous enough to be intellectually honest on this issue.

...the usefulness of stem cells and how they can benefit modern medecine. Now a lot of folks will say why not use adult stem cells, well the reason for this is because of the fact that adult stem cells are already programmed for a particular task, i.e. bone marrow stem cells only make bone marrow cells. Embryotic stem cells are unprogrammed and can be cloned, which gives us a virtually limitless supply of programmable stem cells to use in whatever we need to research.
If the "programmable" cells are so promising, how come I keep reading about how embryonic stem cells have either shown no promise or have had disastrouse results. Especially when adult stem cells have already shown much more promise.

http://www.lifeissues.org/cloningstemcell/bradsarticle.html
Researchers in China met with a disastrous result. Fetal tissue injected into a patient’s brain produced temporary improvement, but within two years the patient developed a brain tumor and died. An autopsy revealed that the fetal cells had taken root, but had then metamorphed into other types of human tissue – hair, skin and bone. These grew into the tumor, which killed the patient.

A devastating result occurred at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In some of the patients, the implanted embryonic cells apparently grew too well, churning out so much of a chemical that controls movement that they writhed and jerked uncontrollably. Dr. Paul E. Greene called the uncontrollable movements developed by some patients as “absolutely devastating.” He said, “They chew constantly, their fingers go up and down, their writs flex and distend. It’s a real nightmare. And we can’t selectively turn it off. No more fetal transplants. We are absolutely and adamantly convinced that this should be considered for research only.”
"
At the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, a man with a rare, potentially fatal skin disorder that was so severe that he could no longer eat, is now symptom-free after receiving a transplant of his own adult stem cells."
I can't do all of your homework for you. Try to find out why private funding has all but dried up for embryonic stem cells. Simply because adult and umbilical (something I haven't touched on) have shown so much more promise that private research is dumping their money into adult and umbilical stem cells.

You could argue that more research is needed, and you may be right.

...all Bush is doing is moral posturing without really exploring the facts of the matter.
Explore the facts for yourself. Knowledge is power. :comp:
 

Mantrius

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I have for the most part, though I do appreciate the extra information your links provided. To be honest, I agree that embryotic stem cell research is nothing more than a heading for the abortion issue at present. I still feel that a lot of our failure in that regard is not necessarily due to the fact that they are unuseable per se but that we simply haven't been able to reach a crucial break point in our research that will make them useable.

Also, while you and I may differ on the abortion issue, I will agree that we shouldn't be using fetus' that have been created naturally for stem cell research. With the advent of artifical insemination and the ability to grow a fetus outside the uterus, as well as the advent of cloning, we should easily be able to create a fetus and grow it to the stage that is required to harvest stem cells. However again this is where the moral issue becomes a problem because your faction would call that a human life from conception, where as I would call a fetus life once it reaches the stage of having it's own sustainable life support functions, which cells in the zygote stage do not posses. Either way, however I still feel that a governmental ban (be it out and out, which it was news to me that it was not and I thank you for the information) is in the wrong. Government not giving funding to a project is one thing, but preventing that research via legislation is wrong. When private funding dies out for something then that should be enough, we don't need a government that tries to legislate morals to us.

As far as your comment about the reaction people have to the idea of anyone using or aborting a fetus not being a "syndrome", I'll have to differ with you there. If you look at the actions performed by those who would call themselves pro-lifers (whether you agree with what they do or not) they definately indicate a syndrome mentality. A lot of people become absolutely rabid at the thought of abortion and use that rabidity to justify any action they take against abortion providers and advocates. That to me indicates a sickness, and while perhaps you are right in that abortion is wrong, that doesn't justify any action these people feel is necessary.

Anyhow, the abortion debate is not a can of worms I really want to open up anyhow as I'm of several minds on the issue, and I'm not going to tow a hard line in any one direction.

In summation, I personally think any governmental legislation on the embryotic stem cell issue is nothing more than political pandering to the moral majority and christian right of this country. If embryotic stem cell research is truly not a viable form of research then let private biotech investors and donators decide that. Don't let the government control what should be private research through legislation, let it use it's power through not giving grants just like a private inverstor would
 

Schweddy

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First of all, excellent retort Tasmin.

Mantrius said:
Frankly, I think Bush's policy on banning embryonic stem cell research is moronic at best, and short sighted and potentially retarding the medical industries research at worst. The reason I say this is that the policy is simply based on moral idiocy when it comes to using fertilized embryos for stem cell harvesting. This is all because of the "Oh my god, we're killing babies!" syndrome that has overtaken this country and blinded us to the usefulness of stem cells and how they can benefit modern medecine.
Your right. They are killing babies. They are killing human beings. Screw research if it costs a human life. I could careless if it helps a million peoples lives - to kill an innocent is wrong. In this area, the end does not justify the means.

Tasmin said:
At best, embryonic stem cell research is another political football to be used in the abortion debate. This is, after all an election year. I will follow with some links and quotes regarding this issue. Embryonic research is yet another excuse to maintain legalized abortion.
No argument here.

Mantrius said:
I still feel that a lot of our failure in that regard is not necessarily due to the fact that they are unuseable per se but that we simply haven't been able to reach a crucial break point in our research that will make them useable.
So, even though ADULT stem cells are breaking ground (as proven by Tasmin above) - you are arguing that we still need to pursue embryonic stem cells? Trying to clarify.

I think what this boils down to is "should we play God"?
 

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I take some time off and. . .

First and foremost. . . Tasmin. Congratulations.

I have a split mind regarding stem cell research and could easily debate both positions but have resigned myself to sitting on the fence. However, for the sake of argument, I would like to throw some interesting, emotionally based what-if's out.

If a child is aborted without your consent, would you take any comfort knowing that the loss of the child may help future generations?

If we donate our organs, can we not donate our children if they are removed from us before birth?

If someone we know or love is dying and there is promising stem cell research on the horizon, would it change our views?
 

Schweddy

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LiberalFINGER, these are all excellent topics for the abortion forum.

To remain topical, I will answer your question about Stem Cell.

LiberalFINGER said:
If someone we know or love is dying and there is promising stem cell research on the horizon, would it change our views?
I could not murder an innocent for a family member, friend, or even myself. What would make an adult human life greater than one that hasn't had a chance to experience it?
 

Mantrius

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[/quote]So, even though ADULT stem cells are breaking ground (as proven by Tasmin above) - you are arguing that we still need to pursue embryonic stem cells? Trying to clarify.

I think what this boils down to is "should we play God"?[/quote]

No, I'm not necessarily advocating continued embryonic stem cell research (as I'm still a bit on the fence on the actual issue). What I am advocating is not allowing the government to legislate against it based on moral opinion. Though originally when I was speaking about it I was under the impression that the ban was an out and out ban, which apparently I was misinformed about. I think the base issue here for me is not necessarily the science, but the fact that I don't need the government to tell me what to think of something through legislation. If they don't like how some private industry is going, then don't donate tax dollars to it in the form of grants, don't try and make it illegal. But that leads to another debate about morals and how they dictate the laws of our land, and I'm not really into the mood to get into that at the moment either.

Anyhow, I'm willing to admit that I am wrong on Bush's policy, but I'm afraid we'll never see eye to eye on the killing of innocents comments (I'm sorry if my life has put me in the position that to you I don't respect human life)
 
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