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The Stem Cell Madness: No Miracle Technology Here

Nigel M. de S. Cameron

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A few years ago, President Bush announced an important federal policy: the government would not fund stem cell experiments on any embryos except those that had already been destroyed. (And Wilberforce forum supported this decision.) Then, a few weeks ago, the House of Representatives voted to fund the destruction of "spare" in vitro embryos for experiments. It's now time for us to take a long, deep breath and reflect.

Perhaps you have mused that it would be wonderful if Ron Reagan Jr's ridiculous speech to the Democratic Convention last year were true. It would be great if embryo stem cells could cure the vast array of degenerative diseases. It would be fantastic if we could conquer the trials that threaten man's mortality and often become our gateway into afterlife. But, in the process, Reagan believes we must create and then destroy one set of twins for every sick person.

And, of course, his claims are not true. They're speculation, the most egregious example of hype. They're despicable, nothing more than a play on the fear of the sick and the sympathy of their relatives. But those distinguished scientists who have poured gasoline on the flames of hype have taught us one thing: you can't trust scientists. Many of them are decent men and women, but they do not represent a new priesthood. The idea that they are purveyors of integrity (as well as hope) has been lost forever. We can't trust them any more than we can trust others.

As we know, so-called "adult" stem cells are already curing many diseases in clinical trials all over the world. (See stemcellresearch.org for details.) These stem cells can be taken from cord blood or the tissue of people who give consent.

Read the entire article on the Breakpoint website (new window will open).

Posted: 18-Jul-05



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