Every human life has value.

nullWhile running his mouth at a rally today Democrat vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden questioned how those who oppose embryonic stem cell research could possibly be committed to caring for the disabled:

“I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy…and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect…Well, guess what folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?”

He uses the typical blanket term “stem cell research,” but he is quite obviously referring to stem cell research using human embryos.

But where is there one iota of evidence to support the notion that in order to truly love the disabled you must support embryonic stem cell research? Answer: nowhere. After more than 20 years of experimenting with ESCs in rats and other animals there have been no advancements that 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 due to their ability to form tumors and the great risk of tissue rejection (see more on the dangers of ESCs here).

Meanwhile adult stem cells continue to see success and progress in treating human beings and even new research on iPS stem cells is advancing farther than anything having to do with ESCs.

Yet you still have politicians like Biden and the delusional and dangerous Diana DeGette out there advocating the need for research that requires the use and destruction of nascent human life and demanding that our tax dollars pay for it. What’s more insulting is that they have the nerve to accuse us of not caring about the disabled because we reject such unethical, unproven and unnecessary research in favor of something that actually works – and doesn’t require us to kill human beings in the process!

So what do we have to do to get it through to these people that ESCs are NOT the way to go? Rebecca of Mary Meets Dolly has a suggestion:

Nothing is more powerful than a person with paralysis, or diabetes, or Parkinson’s or heart disease speaking out and demanding that public money and attention be paid to research and therapies that are already treating patients or are in human clinical trials. If I was suffering from a disease, I would be hopping mad that any taxpayer money was going to fund things like human cloning because it is a field that is decades behind adult stem cell research. Imagine how much faster cures would come if that 3 billion dollars that California has earmarked for stem cell research was put into ethical research instead of paying scientists to tinker around with human cloning for the next 20 years.

If society is to know that adult stem cells are the way to go, those with diabetes, Parkinson’s, cystic fibrosis, blindness, Alzheimer’s, lupus, sickle cell anemia, autism (and the list goes on and on) have to get mad and DEMAND it.

nullI would also add spinal cord injury, which is the disability that I personally live with, to that list of treatments from ASCs (see here and here.)

Yes, we should get mad. Our persons, our conditions are used and exploited to advocate the destruction of human life for scientific research by these people who largely ignore and, as a result, even stand in the way of the most promising and effective stem cell research.

The science is on our side! Not only have ASCs proven to be more effective, but scientists admit ESCs “may not deliver therapy for anything.” See what is the real future of ESC research.

*sigh* “When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we respond gently” (1 Corinth. 4:12-13.) It’s that responding gently part that I’m having trouble with… Truly, though, I understand that the majority of those who support ESC research are honestly looking for a way to ease human suffering. But even such a noble end does not justify the use and destruction of innocent human life. The research is just unethical, period and its advancement is not progress, but a threat for man and for the world (Spe Salvi, 22).

Related:
Yuval Levin on Biden and Developmental Disabilities
Where the Real Booming Stem Cell Business Is
Where’s the Beef?

September 9th, 2008 at 10:06 pm
10 Responses to “Disability Advocates Need NOT Support ESC Research!”
  1. 1
    thomas borghus Says:

    Hi girl.

    My name is Thomas, I’m a c5/c6 quad. Let’s just say that I think you’ve studied, but far from hard enough.
    You REALLY need to consult this: http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=106003
    Girl! your religious/political views are in the way of helping many people far more damaged than you, stop that!
    and have a nice day.
    t.

  2. 2
    Chelsea Says:

    Trust me, I have researched this subject long and hard and I know where the real promise and progress lies – and it’s not with embryonic stem cells. This is really not about religion or politics, it’s about science and ethics.

    I suggest you read the testimony of paraplegic James Kelly, a former ESC research advocate whose goal is to find a cure for spinal cord injury. After years of in-depth research into stem cells, he realized the fraud that is ESC research and the real promise of adult stem cells:

    About Face Part I
    About Face Part II
    About Face Part III
    About Face Part IV

    Perhaps the most interesting part of his testimony is in part III when he illustrates how Christopher Reeve opened his eyes to the exploitation of people with disabilities and disease by those in the biotech research industry:

    “Because my medical condition was being used to mislead the Senate, I felt used and betrayed. However, perhaps Reeve was betrayed far worse.

    Later that year I debated the practicality of cloning with Reeve at the New York Academy of Sciences. At Reeve’s request I tried to tell him of an adult bone marrow clinical trial for ALS and SCI in Turin, Italy. But as I began to speak I was physically muzzled from behind by the scientific moderator of the debate. While I struggled to pull his hands from my mouth, fifty reporters looked on in stunned silence and Reeve’s handlers quickly wheeled him from the room.

    Not a word of this reached the public and Reeve remained in the dark.

    Would those who misled and exploited Christopher Reeve hesitate to exploit the rest of mankind? Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t want my life or future in the hands of such people. And yet they’re holding both.

    As he had touched many others around the world, actor Christopher Reeve touched my life — but not as his handlers intended.

    Reeve opened my eyes to an unfolding global tragedy. He made me realize how far those pursuing a multi-billion dollar goldmine in long range basic research will descend to achieve their ends. I eventually concluded that while it appears that science and industry are using disability and disease to exploit human fetal and embryonic life, the truth is far worse. The push for ES and cloning research may exploit us all.”

    By the way, I applaud the GOP for their steadfast support for ethical and effective stem cell research and the true advancement of scientific progress.

    Thank you for stopping by and have a very nice day yourself! :-)

    Peace,
    CZ

  3. 3
    bmmg39 Says:

    “Girl! your religious/political views are in the way of helping many people far more damaged than you…”

    What “religious views” do you need to have to be against killing human beings (as we SCIENTIFICALLY know human embryos to be) for medical research? People like Thomas Borghus know they have no scientific basis for stating that human embryos aren’t human beings, and so their only hope is to convince others that the personhood of embryos is a mere “religious belief.”

  4. 4
    thomas borghus Says:

    Thank you for responding to me, dialog is the way to pursue I’ve read
    > the articles, and when the one (1) scientist that the article refers
    > to chooses to remain anonymous – I find it very hard to take very
    > seriously.
    > Spending the amount of time that I have on this subject I’d say I
    > rarely (never) come across valid information that leads me to believe
    > we should stop researching esc.
    > Please show me a top stem cell researcher (with a name and so on…:-)
    > who argues esc should be stopped – mind you, scientific motivated NOT
    > because of his or hers religious/ethics or political views.
    >
    > I wish we could rely more on the information we’re getting, I see
    > where you’re coming from but these articles aren’t pushing my views –
    > its not, well, “solid” enough.
    >
    > Take care.
    >
    > Thomas.

  5. 5
    thomas borghus Says:

    oh correction!

    I see, he’s quoting someone anonymous, he’s for real – ok sorry.
    but, a “biotech writer” ?! it has to get better than that!

    t.

  6. 6
    bmmg39 Says:

    “Please show me a top stem cell researcher (with a name and so on…:-)who argues esc should be stopped – mind you, scientific motivated NOT because of his or hers religious/ethics or political views.”

    So…you’re looking for evidence that someone in the scientific community is morally opposed to ESCR without being morally opposed to it. Gotcha.

    James Sherley of MIT is one who considers embryonic stem cells both ethically problematic and highly impractical. So does he count?

  7. 7
    Brian Says:

    (*sigh*) Look, Thomas… when your case is boiled down, it amounts to, “Can I kill another innocent human being in order to benefit myself or others?” The answer is, for anyone with an intact conscience, “NO”.

    I’m currently in complete in remission from Hairy Cell Leukemia, but there’s no telling when it’ll come back (it’s very slow-growing, and I had it for years before I even knew it; the “5 years free of cancer = cured” rule doesn’t apply to me”), I have at least 50 confirmed food allergies, I’ve lost 20 pounds in 6 months due to what appears to be an inability of my body to absorb nutrients properly (which also seems progressive–if I get allergic to too many more things, my prognosis will become very grim), and I deal with the bodily malfunctions, etc., which come with the package. So it’s not impossible that, unless my case reverses, I could have a rather short time to live–where I die by starvation, no matter how much I eat. (God only knows if anything that severe will happen to me–but the evidence is there.)

    So… is my suffering enough to be “credible” in your eyes, for my opinion to have merit with you? I hope so… and yet: if you ask me, “Brian, wouldn’t you NOW approve of embryonic stem cell research, since the media says it has such promise?”, I’d say no, no, no, and a thousand times no, even if the media knew what it was saying (and it doesn’t). Let me die a hundred times, with symptoms and prognoses far worse, and I’ll still say no. Why? For the same reason that I wouldn’t let anyone slit a newborn baby’s throat in an ill-done attempt to help my condition. No one may murder another person to save me, thank you.

    Please tell me: aside from buying into the vain bandwagon of “hope” that ESCR promises (ironic, since God is the foundation of all hope, and ESCR supporters usually jettison Him!), how do you come to the conclusion that these tiny children whom you’d be willing to massacre are, somehow, worth LESS than you are? I seriously want to know.

    In Christ,
    Brian

  8. 8
    Brian Says:

    P.S. to Thomas, if you’re still reading…

    I’m assuming you didn’t mean it this way, and I don’t want to harp on the point, but: when you repeatedly referred to Chelsea as “girl”, you invoked three “deadly D’s” of rhetoric: dismissive, diminutive, and derogatory. Chelsea is 25 years old (as of the last update to the “about me” page on her blog), and all rational and legal definitions find her to be a “woman”–or, more properly in her specific case, a “lady”. Perhaps you could tailor your future posts to reflect that fact?

    In Christ,
    Brian

  9. 9
    Dianna Says:

    Hi Brian and Chelsea,

    Thank you so much for your information, your testimony and your honesty. I am working on an essay for a university level english course, and I have to write an argumentative essay. I want to do a really good job of it, and thus began my research into Stem Cells. I’ve perused many web sites, and needed to find some current information. Many years ago, I read a book by Christopher Reeve, “Just Me” and in it he supported embryonic research. Of course at that time, the findings were new and he was hopeful that this would help him lead a better life. When I read that in the end, he admitted that Embryonic Stem Cell research could not help his condition, I wanted to find some other source to verify it. The posting on your site was helpful. Not only that, in my research, I have come to the conclusion that there is a hidden agenda of profit, and also of “let’s see how far we can take our research” without any real humane purpose behind it. The therapies using adult stem cells, however, are showing real promise and are being used. I think that the push to have federal funding is really based in alternative agendas, like a race to be first to come up with something solid, for a “blessing” from government to consider the embryo as not deserving protective status, and for giving investors something for all the money they have spent. I can’t seem to come up with any other conclusions. So this web page validates what I am learning. And I really want to thank you for having the courage to be honest about your perspectives.

    Sincerely,
    Dianna

  10. 10
    Dianna Says:

    Could you tell me when James Kelley wrote the article “A changed personal course”? Thanks.