Stem Cells, Embryonic and Other

I’ve been following the Catholic blogoutrage on embryonic stem cell research, so hearing about it on NPR today took me a bit by surprise. One would think the matter was already settled and the Furnaces of Death already fired up. Apparently, the only change from the Bush II years will be federal support for research on embryos already existing at fertility clinics. No embryos for sale, no cloning, no genetic manipulation with non-human DNA. For the public commentary period I just hope the anti-Death fringe can avoid “Dear Babykillers” input. Let’s make the case calmly and respectfully, and if someone feels the need to vent, just grab a pillow and squeeze, and stay out of the way of the rest of us.

I’m more concerned that Big Business has already invested too much in ESCR, and that promising research in adult cells will be shunted aside. It was a business gamble that human embryos would be more fruitful, and the gamble looks to fail. Hopefully business interests will be discouraged by the public outcry too.

With all due respect for the sincerity of Michael J Fox and others, I’m pinning my hopes on adult stem cells for a miracle cure. Longtime readers know my daughter was born with a serious heart defect. While to all superficial appearances, she’s healthy and functional, there are questions about her ability to bear children or even to have an extended adult life. Her cardiologist does research (but not with the link) in the use of adult stem cells for heart valves. Aside from being an outstanding pediatric cardiologist, he is fully optimistic about the prospect of cloning from bone marrow stem cells to produce a fully functioning heart for the young miss sometime in the next twenty years.

I don’t know that the obstacle to stem cell research is more the resources than the actual time needed for studies and trials. But you’ll pardon my deep and bitter skepticism about the Republican Party’s assuming any mantle for pro-life. Their warmongering, irresponsible economics, and dismissive approach to science were three slams working against my hopes for life. I’ll grant you that the other party is just as beholden to wealthy business interests, so I’ll be watching all this carefully. And I’ll still retain my optimism.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Politics, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Stem Cells, Embryonic and Other

  1. crystal says:

    I hope things turn out well and soon for your daughter’s health.

  2. Fran says:

    Oh my – what a post. The topic alone is one thing, that you have such a personal outlook is another.

    Your daughter and family, her doctor and other caregivers all have my prayers.

    And as ever, my respect for you grows as I read your words, always written with clarity and truth.

    And hope.

  3. Claudia St says:

    I just want to echo comment #2: I only recently found your blog but it moves up my list daily. I truly appreciate the chance to gain some thoughtful insight into events.

    Your daughter will be in my prayers.

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