Tonight’s the big night! I don’t think I’ll ruin the show for you by sharing this. I recorded a voice over for the video I shot for EWTN of me getting in and out of the car. I didn’t put it together with the video myself, though it should be together on the show tonight. But if you want a preview click on the link below to listen to the VO while watching the video below it:EWTN voice-over
Here is text of the VO with links for more information on some of what mention in it about stem cell research:
It takes most people maybe 10 seconds to get in or out of their car. For me, it takes about 4 minutes. Even though I do it every day, I still sometimes forget to add on those extra minutes when I am heading out to daily Mass or other appointments, which makes me a little late sometimes! It does take me a little bit longer than most people to do things like that with my wheelchair. When I was 17, I was in a car accident that left me paralyzed from the chest down. That was over ten years ago. A person once told me that if he was ever in my condition he would not want to live any longer. I have never felt that way. My life is just a little different, and maybe a little less convenient than able bodied person’s– but it’s no less rewarding, and maybe more so. I accept my life as God has given it to me and I am very grateful.
Because of my disability, I am often asked what I think about stem cell research. Many scientists believe that cloning and research with embryonic stem cells could lead to a cure for sci and several other disabilities and diseases. For several years now I have studied and considered all of the science and ethics of stem cell research and I have found that first of all, there is little to no evidence to support the idea that embryonic stem cell research will lead to all or even any of the therapies and cures that scientists claim it will. After more than 20 years of experimenting with ESCs in rats and other animals no advancements have lead researchers to begin trials in human beings. In fact ESCs have failed to even obtain FDA approval for being safe to use in human clinical trials because of their propensity to become cancerous or form deadly tumors and cysts.
Regardless of whether or not they are effective, the fact is that, whether created by IVF or cloning process somatic cell nuclear transfer, human embryos are human beings in their earliest stages of development and destroying them in order to obtain stem cells for research or medical treatment is in essence killing one class of human beings to benefit others. All human life is sacred, from the moment of conception to natural death and intentionally destroying human life at any stage of development, no matter how noble that intention may be, greatly diminishes the value of all human life and is wrong.
Believe me, I would love to be able to walk again and to see the sufferings of others diminished, but, I could never accept the harvesting of another human life for some small earthly comfort. It may take me 4 minutes to get in and out of my car. But those 4 minutes aren’t worth taking the life of another person – not matter how small. Science must be guided by clear ethical principles and if we’re not willing to say that it is unethical to destroy human beings in the name of science, then where will that line be drawn?
Thankfully, ESCR is almost completely unnecessary. Not only do so-called adult stem cells – which includes stem cells from umbilical cord and placenta – lack the moral and ethical problems that embryonic stem cells have, but they are successfully being used right now in many clinical trials and HUMAN patient treatments. Some diseases and conditions that are or have been treated with ASCs include: diabetes, Parkinson’s, cystic fibrosis, blindness, Alzheimer’s, lupus, sickle cell anemia, autism and many forms of cancer . And, when it comes to spinal cord injury, which I live with, several human patients have regained some feeling and movement thanks to adult stem cells and progress continues to be made. Now that’s something I can get excited about!