New Jersey’s $5 million dollar stem cell bill passed in 2004 is being put to good work. However, the journalistic reporting surrounding the controversy in stem cell research is baffling. Here from John George found online at MSNBC, right there in the beginning of the article the author writes, “Researchers believe embryonic stem cells, which have the potential to develop into many different cell types in the body, can be coaxed into treating myriad diseases, conditions and disabilities. Opponents of the research argue the process destroys the embryo and the potential for life. Since 2001, government policy limits federal research funding to 19 existing stem cell lines.”
It’s as if he has to say, “let’s make sure this remains as political and controversial as possible. I want to be sure to do my part to cause division and not report the facts!”
But what follows next is utterly amazing as he goes onto outline all the research going on in the field of heart disease which is proving quite successful. BUT, these successes he reports on, are in adult stem cells, cord blood stem cells, bone marrow stem cells, and the patient’s own stem cells.
He continues to perpetuate the myth that we need to do embryo research, the hype that cures for diseases, conditions and disabilities are to be had, if only we didn’t have a White House bent on ‘limiting’ federal funding. For those who care to know, Bush is the first and only president to allow federal funds on embryonic stem cell research. Clinton banned this research entirely. So the federal funds being used now are new funds, released in 2001 for this research.
Finally, George buries at the bottom of his story all the successes with alternative and ethically permissable sources of stem cells. Which may I add, are helping with treatments and cures to patients with heart disease.
The title of the piece is “Heart of the matter: N.J. scientists study stem cell-role”. I just wish we could get to the truth of the matter!
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.
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