The Shafer Bill (Yes, I’m a Fan)

The editors of the Augusta Chronicle have given a powerful endorsement to Senator Shafer’s “Saving the Cure Act.” Their editorial closes with these paragraphs:

Dr. David Munn, a pediatric oncology professor at the Medical College of Georgia, told Sen. Shafer in a March 5 letter that “I consider the goal of facilitating and encouraging nondestructive stem cell research to be a laudable one. Many of the most scientifically exciting possibilities for human therapy, and the ones that are the most practically attainable and closest to human clinical trials, are based on non-embryonic stem cells. In my opinion, it would be unfortunate to allow the dubious and controversial ethics of embryonic stem cells to divert attention from the many ethically acceptable, more promising and much less speculative non-embryonic strategies.”

We agree, and we believe Georgia lawmakers would be foolish to pass up this chance to advance science, and medical cures, with no pain or cost to donors – and no harm to human life.

The bill has also been endorsed by the Savannah Morning News, Albany Herald, Macon Telegraph, Gwinnett Daily Post and Rockdale Citizen, as well as a host of medical, patient advocacy and business groups, including the Medical Association of Georgia and Georgia Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit www.savingthecure.com.

9 comments

  1. Faye says:

    I have a real problem with the use of the term “nondestructive” stem cell research to describe embryonic stem cell research.

    To me embryonic stem cell research is by definition “nondestructive” in the same way as umbilical cord stem cell research is.

    In both cases cells that are discarded are being recycled for lifesaving research.

    The big difference is as Dr. Stice pointed out that while cord-blood stem cells are probably a better fit for sickle-cell disease, embryonic cells have appeared to be more effective in treating spinal-cord injuries or growing cardiac-muscle cells.

    Far more embryos are “destroyed” in the process of in vitro fertilization procedures than ever will be for stem cell research, but nobody is working to shut down the in vitro fertilization clinics.

    Embryonic stem cell research has been politicized.

    It is used as a FAKE front for the abortion issue, since the cells used in embryonic stem cell research were never implanted in a woman.

    Is it better for these cells to perish in the trash, than to recycle them for life-saving research?

  2. Faye says:

    Oooops that first sentence should have read:

    I have a real problem with the use of the term “nondestructive” stem cell research to describe umbilical cord blood stem cell research, implying that embryonic stem cell research is “destructive”.

  3. Trooper says:

    Dr. Stice is not a real doctor. He is a veterinarian, and embryonic stem cells have not been shown to treat sickle cell anemia, spinal cord injury or anything else.

    The human embryo is a unique, genetically complete human being. The umbilical cord is tissue, not a human being. “Destructive” is the right word for embryonic research as currently conducted, because human life is destroyed.

    Sen. Shafer has done an excellent job crafting a proposal that moves forward the right kind of research, both morally and fiscally. Kudos to him!

  4. Faye says:

    Is Heaven Populated Chiefly by the Souls of Embryos?
    Harvesting stem cells without tears

    Ronald Bailey | December 22, 2004

    What are we to think about the fact that Nature (and for believers, Nature’s God) profligately creates and destroys human embryos? John Opitz, a professor of pediatrics, human genetics, and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah, testified before the President’s Council on Bioethics that between 60 and 80 percent of all naturally conceived embryos are simply flushed out in women’s normal menstrual flows unnoticed. This is not miscarriage we’re talking about. The women and their husbands or partners never even know that conception has taken place; the embryos disappear from their wombs in their menstrual flows. In fact, according to Opitz, embryologists estimate that the rate of natural loss for embryos that have developed for seven days or more is 60 percent. The total rate of natural loss of human embryos increases to at least 80 percent if one counts from the moment of conception……

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/34948.html

  5. Trooper says:

    What is your point?

    All human beings die. The death rate is 100%. It is unsurprising that human life would be most vulnerable in the earliest stages.

    The fact remains that a human embryo is a unique, genetically complete human being. It should not destroyed for scientific experiments.

  6. Trooper says:

    I call it a waste.

    Many European countries limit the creation of surplus embryos, including Germany which has a unique appreciation for scientific excesses.

    We should limit the creation of embryos to those required for reproduction. Surplus embryos should be adoted, as has happened with hundreds of “snow flake” babies.

    The human embryo is a unique, genetically complete human being. It is entitled to respect.

  7. Bill Simon says:

    Dr. David Munn sounds like a descendant of the folks back in the Dark Ages who swore the Earth was flat, and it was the center of the Universe.

    Everything’s “dubious” to him…damn, how do idiots like this get a degree in medicine?

  8. Nicki says:

    Dr. Stice is not a real doctor.

    Hmm. Funny. His CV indicates a PhD.

    He is a veterinarian, and embryonic stem cells have not been shown to treat sickle cell anemia, spinal cord injury or anything else.

    He is a GRA eminent scholar and he has successfully cloned a number of animals as well as indicated success in using embryonic stem cells with regard to Parkinson’s and vascular diseases. Naturally, that makes him less qualified with regard to the area of research in which he has been recognized to be top in his field than some random piker on a blog, yes?

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