Friday, July 3, 2009

I Have Parkinson's Disease - Why Are State Legislators Trying to Withhold ESC Research?

You would think in a world linked by a key pad's touch, that minds and hearts would open.

You would think that religious organizations which have built and operate thousands of hospitals worldwide, most of which have doctors who treat motion disorders, stroke and spinal injuries & disorders would have a special insight into the importance of stem cell research. You would think that when the federal government provided a comment and opinion period open for everyone - liberals and religious conservatives alike - concerned about the new set of NIH finding guidelines, that would have been the time to provide input. You would think we could be done with this discussion for a few years at least. The liberals won the election, the ultra-conservatives did not.

We can see pretty clearly what happens when religion mixes with politics, just look at the Middle East. We have explosive situations where innocent bystanders, women, children, the old and infirm are often the victims of hate in the name of some higher power. So the leaders claim that God is telling them what to do and everyone dies in the crossfire.

But it isn't restricted to the Middle East. Throw science into the mix and you're soon killing people without firing a shot, without exploding a single bomb. Suddenly it's not the Middle East but the mid-eastern and western states. Just by putting pen to paper. Patients, doctors, scientists are usually the first victims. Patients die from lack of necessary research and available treatments. Highly trained doctors and scientist become under or unemployed because the work for which they have been training is snatched away by self-proclaimed moralists, under-scrupled state senators and representatives in states throughout the country. You would think that it is time to move forward intellectually.

You would think in Ohio and Michigan, states with not only some of the highest unemployment rates in the USA and also some world renowned medical research centers, that the local politicians would not be attempting to conjure up regulations intended to make it difficult if not impossible to do embryonic stem cell research. The sad thing is that one of these legislators actually said that he didn't feel that people would understand the difference between cloning and using discarded ESC for treatment research so he was just saying no to every kind of ESC research...because we're too stupid to understand the issues. No wonder there's such a financial crisis, too many of these legislators can't see beyond the sound of their own voices.

India, China, Europe, and Thailand are researching ESC and already taking some of our American researchers along with the research dollars. We need those jobs, their tax revenues, that research at home - if home happens to be Ohio or Michigan. If you feel about this as I do, contact your State Representative and Senator and urge them to vote down these attempts at unrealistic, restrictive, beyond religion regulation.

We've said it before, we're saddened by reading of the needless deaths of friends, family, children and adults, strangers who might have been saved by a cure waiting for discovery in the past 8 years. We live and we wait. I have Parkinson's disease. You would think that...

Useful links:
How to find a state legislator or legislation in Ohio
How to find state legislation or a legislator in Michigan


  1. Even though I believe that embryonic stem cell research may speed up a cure, I still need to disagree with you (yes, on religious grounds).

    I have Parkinsons also, and I would prefer to die without being cured rather than destroy a human life (yes, that's what I call an embryo).

  2. There are long documents exploring the ethics and many support your viewpoint.
    While I respect your religious and ethical views, I am of the very old school of "quickening" as described by my Father, an attorney who studied Jewish Law. A man who said, after his bypass surgery, that the money could have been put to better use on a younger person.
    As he recovered, I think that he was relieved to be alive and still a center to his family. This was a man whose charitable donations were always anonymous because he felt that was the only way they could be charitable.

    I also feel that with the restrictions of the current NIH guidelines for using only ESC aboutto be discarded - thawed and destroyed - that potential can and should be put to a more noble use.
    I value the potential of the living and wish to see an end to as much existing suffering as possible. I want those older men and women who are the centers of their families to be able to remain so.


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