Advocates of human embryonic stem cell research cover a vast spectrum on the political road map. They are not all Obamaites but it is interesting that many hold similar views, regardless of their official ties to the president and his philosophy.
One of those who advises the president is Cass Sunstein, a man who has suggested that a human embryo is nothing more than “just a handful of cells.” In other words, the embryonic human being is not really a human being according to Sunstein.
His position is a reflection of the teachings of utilitarian ethicists like Peter Singer who argue that there is nothing wrong with killing human embryos or fetuses because they have not yet reached a state of consciousness.
Dr. Elaine Fuchs, who is the current president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), recently opined that any restriction on human embryonic stem cell research (HESCR) would prevent the very research that she claims will one day provide the blueprint for “therapies that will save lives.”
The common characteristic of those like Fuchs, Singer, Sunstein and Obama is that they do not see the intrinsic value in the human being prior to birth and perhaps in some cases, God forbid, not after it either. They are people who ideologically deny human personhood while advocating the absolute necessity of pursuing HESCR even though the advances that are being made for real patients with real health problems and deadly diseases are being made because of research using adult stem cells or cord blood stem cells. Apparently they have no time to examine true facts.
As Chicago Tribune commentator Steve Chapman pointed out, one of the inconvenient facts about Obama’s advocacy of human embryonic stem cell research is that he appears to think he can confer immortality as though he were in a position to do that—which of course he is not. But at a more fundamental level, Obama and his allies focus on the ends, not means, of alleviating suffering. Proponents of human embryonic stem cell research speak frequently about lofty goals even though they represent mere speculation at this point. There is no hard evidence, and even if there were, such proof would not ameliorate the moral prohibition that should stop any sort of research that requires the killing of one human being for the sake of treating or helping another.
But if any of these purveyors of false promises were to review Dr. Jean Peduzzi Nelson’s findings, they would be pleasantly surprised by her report. Nelson recently testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee. She presented living, breathing examples of people helped by adult stem cell therapies. Nelson spoke of a quadriplegic who can now walk with the aid of a walker. She told of a man given two years to live in 2002 due to serious heart conditions who is now improving dramatically. She described the work involving 112 people with corneal blindness for which vision was restored in more than 75 percent of the cases. And the list goes on.
In other words, Nelson presented facts based on research, not perspectives based on pressure from the mega-million dollar bio-tech firms that want more and more human embryonic babies to continue their phony efforts to “cure” the very people Nelson and her allies are treating and are helping—all without killing a single human embryonic person.
What gives? According to Nelson, it’s all about the money. Adult stem cell therapies are not patentable; there will be no product to sell, only healthy patients! Who wants that result?
It is a shame that we live in a society where patients with serious, debilitating and often life-threatening conditions have to take a back seat to flawed speculation driven not by truth but by money, power and politics.
To learn more about genuine adult stem cell success stories, therapies and treatments see www.stemcellresearchfacts.org.