Meet the new Christopher Reeve

Her name is Elizabeth Edwards. I have to admit that I groaned, but was not surprised, to see the headline: “Back on trail, Elizabeth Edwards pushes stem-cell funding.”

The title says simply “stem-cell funding,” but you know it really means “embryonic stem-cell funding.” Yet the article never once says “embryo” or “embryonic.” Instead, it quotes Edwards referring to “blastocysts containing clumps of 16 or 32 cells”, which is sufficiently scientific sounding to calm any human fears of ethical trespass. Oh, we’re dealing with blastocysts and not human embryos? How much money did you want?

Not surprising is the fact that the article is entirely silent on the successes of adult stem-cell research, as well as on the failures, dangers, and ethical issues (affecting not only unborn life, but poor women as well) that inevitably attend the use of embryonic stem-cells. (This article by Maureen Condic is helpful on all of these.)

Another unsurprising omission is the fact that the stem cells currently derivable only from living embryos may be able to be obtained directly, with no embryos involved. It’s unsurprising, because CNN is all about superficiality. Depth of analysis is inimical to their mission, which is to keep you watching and keep you from thinking.

I’m always a little scared by the fact that people like Reeve and Edwards seem to believe that doctors and medical researchers are all-powerful, and that they could achieve anything they wanted, provided with sufficient cash. And a corrolary belief also seems to apply: that if they aren’t getting the money, or are being funded but are not succeeding in finding cures, that politics are to blame. Because we know that scientists would have no limitations unless they were imposed by benighted politicians who happen to use whatever power they may have to keep us in ignorance and superstition.

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One Response to “Meet the new Christopher Reeve”

  1. Rayilyn Brown Says:

    Opponents of embryonic stem cell research continue to lie about adult stem cell cures. The exact number varies with the writer. Since I have Parkinson’s disease I can attest that the 3 citations for PD are false:
    (1) Dennis Turner’s PD returned.
    (2) Patricia Payne never took part in Dr. Levesque’s Phase II because it never took place.
    (3) 10 unnamed Kentuckians participated in Amgen’s aborted GDNF infusion therapy trials which had nothing to do with stem cellls of any kind.
    Please just stick to your Bronze Age theology and stop lying about adult stem cell cures. The media doesn’t report them because they don’t exist.

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