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Paul Hayden

Stem Cell Obfuscation

January 14, 2008

While the drive-by media do their latest Clinton bidding (did her tears do the trick?) they continue to put the truth about important issues that don't fit their agenda into a deep freeze. Perhaps no issue, save for the emotional and physical damage abortion often causes, is so shamefully ignored as the progress being made with adult stem cell research.

The truth is, major advances have been made over the last several years with adult stem cells. You just don't hear about them unless you surf the Internet and do the digging for yourself. An annual report by the Family Research Council discloses that adult stem cell research had an impressive track record as of 2006-over  1,100 FDA-approved clinical trials in the United States for 72 different illnesses and disabilities. In 2007, further advances in adult stem cell research and therapy took place over a wide range of conditions from heart disease to diabetes and several types of cancer. These are actual success stories involving real human beings. Despite the hype and media/Hollywood support, embryonic stem cells have not yet been used successfully in a human trial.

The latest exciting breakthrough involves reprogramming human skin cells to be indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells. According to a Japanese scientist who recently made the discovery, skin stem cell technologies could be used to cure diseases and heal injuries within 10 years. If this new discovery pans out as stated, it along with other successes with adult stem cells will take the political and moral arguments about embryonic stem cells off the table. Whoops-excuse me, I forgot, liberals are still with us. Such simple and compelling logic will never trump their agenda if they have anything to say about it.

In a compelling article written several years ago entitled The Case for Audit Stem Cell Research, author Wolfgang Lillge, MD notes that adult stem cells are found in all tissues of the growing human being and also have the potential to transform themselves into practically all other cell types. Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, had not yet been used for even one therapy. This article was written in the winter of 2001-2002, and already adult stem cells had shown promising results in treating heart disease. Apparently from a macro perspective at least, little has changed since then in comparing the two sources of stem cells, except that adult stem cells are continuing to show progress. As Dr. Lillge aptly points out, the potential of embryonic stem cells is exaggerated, while important moral questions and issues of research strategy are passed over in silence. Generally, advocates of embryonic stem cell research use as their main argument that such research will enable us to cure all of the diseases that are incurable today-cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and so on. Faced with such potential, it is supposed to be "acceptable" to "overlook" a few moral problems. However, while adult stem cells produce demonstrable results, embryonic stem cells, years down the road, are still stuck on "potential."

As Rush Limbaugh stated recently, the liberals' insistence on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, despite the lack of successful progress, has nothing to do with true science and everything to do with the anti-life agenda of the hard Left. Using embryonic stem cells and destroying embryos keeps the culture of death humming, the same culture that has enabled Roe v Wade to survive and even thrive for 35 years and 40-plus million murdered infants. And keep in mind that this culture spans the entire spectrum of life, including the termination of it when one is deemed no longer "useful" or "worthy" of living any longer by some nameless, faceless governmental entity. This is the slippery slope down which we slide if we don't stand up, in the face of the overwhelming evidence, to demand that our elected representatives back off their support of embryonic stem cell research.

There are several key issues confronting the current crop of presidential candidates, but few are more important than this one, since so much of the life-versus-death agendas hang on the future of stem cell research and what the federal government will or will not be coaxed into supporting. We need to hold the Republican candidates' feet to the fire on at least holding the line that President Bush has begun by limiting and ultimately stopping the federal (that is, taxpayer) funding of embryonic stem cell research. Not only do they need to make that commitment, the candidates need to articulate their rationale and, in so doing, explode the media/Hollywood myths about embryonic stem cell research. It could become a winning issue with a candidate who's smart enough to lay out the facts, Reagan-style, to a public which is starved for such information.

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