The Family Research Council has a really good video with basic stem cell information. I had a little trouble viewing it on the website, but there is a link to launch the external media player that worked much better for me. It’s a good introduction for someone who is new to the stem cell debate.
I sometimes take for granted my own knowledge of the subject and forget that there are many people, perhaps a majority, who do not understand, or are not aware of the basic principals of this issue. For example, at the Eldon Turkey Festival a few weeks ago, one man was amazed to find out that there was such a thing as adult stem (AS) cell research and that this research was treating over 70 different types of diseases and disabilities. Another couple, after the husband made the comment, “if you want to cure diseases you have to vote yes on that amendment,” stopped and litstened with great interest while I explained that there are actually two types of stem cell research, one that is treating people today(AS cell research), and another that may never treat humans because of its potential to cause tumors (embryonic stem (ES) cell research). I then further explained how Amendment 2 was primarily focused on ES cell research because of how much the research industry stands to gain from it financially.
This is a complicated issue for most people and it’s compounded by the deception of many in the biotech industry and the media’s inability to provide fair and accurate information to the public. I find it apalling that the media will report on the “promise” and “potential” of ES cell research to no end, while ignoring the tremendous breakthrough’s and tangible results of AS cell research. I am also saddened when I see people like Michael J. Fox, and other individuals with serious medical conditions buy into the hype, perpetrated by big biotech, and honestly believe that there is no hope for cures without the creation and destruction of human embryos. Every time I speak to folks about this I stress the fact that the media is not on our side and we cannot rely on them to tell us what we need to know. We must do the research ourselves to ensure that we are as informed as possible. A couple of places to start would be The Bioethics Defense Fund and The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics
Medical research must always be guided by ethics.