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September 16th, 2010
07:34 PM ET

Stem cell debate returns to Capitol Hill

Thirteen years after Congress held its first hearing on human embryonic stem cell research, Dr. Francis Collins testified on Capitol Hill Thursday, explaining the importance of continuing the research and how the court order to stop funding this research has dramatically affected scientists.

"Many researchers across the country have considered modifying their research plans to turn away from an area of research that, while promising, is now fraught with uncertainty," said Collins, a geneticist renowned for mapping the human genome, and now Director of the National Institutes of Health.

Late last month, a U.S. Court of Appeals injunction blocked federal funding of the research. An Appeals Court later stayed that injunction, but the fate of funding still hangs in the balance and the government has until early next week to present its case.

"While we continue through the legal process, I hope that we can keep the patients and their families in our thoughts," Collins said. "They are at the heart of the NIH mission, and they are the ones who stand to benefit the most or lose the most."

The fight over this research was thrust back into the public eye when President Obama lifted the Bush Administration's restrictions on research last year.  When President Bush first approved federal funding of  human embryonic stems cell research in 2001, 60 existing stem cell lines – which were created before August 9, 2001 –  qualified for federal funding.  Of those, only 21 actually were usable for scientists.  Since the Obama administration's rules went into effect, a total of 75 stem cell lines qualify for federal funding. 

 "NIH has invested more than $500 million in human embryonic stem cell research; one of the most promising research avenues of recent times," said Collins.

Because embryos are destroyed when stem cells are removed for research, most opponents of embryonic stem cell research believe this is moral issue.  Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) testified that "this is a matter of conscience for me and millions of Americans, who are deeply troubled that their taxpayer dollars would go to destroying a human life."

Senator Tom Harkin, a longtime supporter of human embryonic stem cell research said they've come too far to give up now. "If we don't win this battle in the courts, we'll take it up in Congress. This research must continue.  The politicians and the activist judges who oppose it need to respect the views of the overwhelming majority of the American people, who want this research to go forward."


soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Dr. Mama

    I'm just astounded that the forces of ignorance are still trying to block this urgent research. The 'matter of conscience' should be the delay in finding cures for lives that exist NOW. Why do the extremists on this topic care more about potential life than living, breathing human beings?

    http://mamasoncall.com

    September 17, 2010 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      DO you NOT realize that CURES would mean no more need to treat people like experiments? That it would mean no need for those shiny expensive buildings and all the support groups and walks and fund raisers? When big pharms gets it grubby hands out of politics will we see "CURES" Until then you get a shot or a pill that might or might not help you. I do not believe that doctors want cures. As long as people are sick they can make money. I have NO faith in the Medical Community, NONE. Get your religious garbage out of the way.

      September 17, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
    • Alan Zhao

      The extrmeist focus on their own benefit than the majority...as a result, we lost time to have the stem cell research!!!

      September 17, 2010 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
    • McCluck

      Yep Joe, one huge conspiracy with hundreds of thousands of participants. I would like to blame the problem largely on religious mindset. But that’s just conflation....our embryos develop the same as many related, nonhuman species do, tail and all, but eventually our developmental paths diverge and we further differentiate into what we recognize as a human. Where do we draw the line? IDK that’s a tuffy. I personally think that the microscopic ball of cells that resembles the head of a ball point pen is before that line.-But I don’t believe in souls or a "grand plan" and have accepted my limited role and scope in this universe as an atheist. ::Gasp:: I’m going to hell.

      Big pharma and the medical community make money by selling drugs/treatments and providing services that work.

      September 17, 2010 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
    • Another Dr. Mama

      Please get the facts straight. Most cures have come from adult stem cell research not embryonic. Human life should not be treated as a commodity.

      September 17, 2010 at 21:57 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      The "pro" lifer's shrug their shoulders and ignore 100's of thousands of dish fertilized cells that are thrown away (left over) from the very popular, new parishioner adding Fertility Treatment!

      Then they fight, demonize, try to outlaw the knowing donation of less than 200 of those cells to prevent suffering and save lives.

      Are ESCs promising?

      In the ONE YEAR since a slight regulatory change; ESCs allowed animals with severed spinal cords to regain movement! (and human clinical trials were about to start!)

      Scientists using ESCs have figured out how to CURE BLINDNESS from Macular Degeneration and Retinitis Pigmentosa! (and human clinical trials were about to start)

      Those opposed are scrambling to prevent any success!

      As a student of history, I know the disabled are the "victim of choice" in conservative political movements, but I'm LITERALLY sick of it!

      Can you please REMOVE your radical religion from my DOCTOR's care????

      September 19, 2010 at 09:56 | Report abuse |
    • Brett Favre's fan (a.k.a. ybs)

      The same fakking religious folks that use (or turn a deaf ear to) in-vitro, pontificate about the sanctity of life regarding ESCs!

      September 19, 2010 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • MyMomHasParkinsons

      You're an idiot..........

      September 19, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse |
    • RomanAbbasid

      People die. It is a fact. Why do we need these cures? It prolongs the inevitable. We are not ignorant. We understand the importance of a human life.

      October 8, 2010 at 08:39 | Report abuse |
  2. Mark H.

    The same people who talk about "death panels" would doom many who could be saved by this research.

    September 17, 2010 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Waterfalls

    So many people could benefit from this research. As sad as abortion is, it will remain legal. Some good can come out of it. If something has this much potential to cure disease and help humanity, we really need to continue.

    September 17, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Waterfalls

      I should add, I don't support research that harms animals nor humans, but stem cell lines from embryos do not fall into that category for me.

      September 17, 2010 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
    • esammee

      Waterfalls, please understand that this has NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING to do with abortion. This is a ball of cells smaller than the period at the end of a sentence that was created in a petri dish in a lab at an IVF clinic. No mother, no womb, no baby, no abortion. When prospective parents have decided not to go forward with that particular ball of cells, it would be either frozen forever or disposed of as medical waste. This research gives those cells the opportunity to be the ones that go on living, giving life and health to many.

      September 17, 2010 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
  4. bigfruitbasket

    Thank you Tom Harkin for common sense. Roger Wicker, who hails from one of the worst states in the union, should crawl back under that rock he crawled out from under. Mr. Wicker–screw your conscience. Get the researchers back to work, we have folks who are ill out here who could benefit from the help. What a moron.

    September 17, 2010 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ituri

    There is no question about the valuable nature of stem cell therapies. They are heads and bounds ahead with such studies in other countries, because they don't have religious zealots banding together to get in the way of scientific research, like we have here in the USA. Evolution, stem cell research, you name it the religious zealots are trying to duct tape the cookie jar shut. Their protests on moral grounds are POINTLESS and personally motivated, NOT pursued by honest ground. Nobody is harmed in stem cell research, but MANY are harmed by its being blocked and endlessly debated.

    We're turning back the clock, medically. Other civilized countries have cheaper care, Universal care, and better care than we do across the board. But hey, even though nobody can afford them, we have some of the "best" surgeons! Everybody dance for the rich!

    September 17, 2010 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. jim

    Imagine all the scientific progress that could have been made over the past 1000 years if not for the brain-dead christians !!!

    September 17, 2010 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • josh

      Imagine all the scientific progress that could have been made if we just put those pesky ethics aside...

      September 18, 2010 at 01:37 | Report abuse |
    • Ituri

      Religion is not the father of ethics. They exist in society DESPITE religious interference. Its like religion claiming to own marriage, when marraige is FAR older than any religion surviving today. Stem cell research harms NOTHING, while not studying it harms MANY. What are your ethics on allowing living people to suffer because you don't want to study genetic material that would be discarded anyway even if we're not using it? Its an absurd "ethical" claim to make.

      September 19, 2010 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
  7. jon

    Our government sure does not have any interest in having the 310 million people in this country living longer and longer. They would really like to see the old folks just pass away as soon as possible. They are a financial drag on society – just drawing pensions and social security and paying little in taxes compared to what they did while working. Although keeping them alive a bit longer, while the hospitals and nursing homes drag out the last bit on money from them seems to be the goal.

    September 17, 2010 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tom

    For all of those decrying the judge's decision, can you identify one cure developed by embryonic stem cell research? There isn't one! Adult stem cells have already proven useful, but embryonic stem cells have not. You are calling for "cures" that don't exist at this time, and arguing that if we throw enough money at it, the cures will appear. Per the article, over $500,000,000 has already been invested, with no cures in sight. Just because you spend money on research doesn't mean it will pan out. Note that the lack of successful cures is global, and cannot be attributed solely to the fact that Federal funds aren't currently available. Your argument that anyone who does not support stem cell research is ignorant or a religious zealot is flawed. You don't have to have a religious affiliation to object to something that is widely acknowledged to have significant ethical questions attached to it. Have some perspective, people. The mere fact that someone does not share your moral, religious, or philosophical beliefs does not make that person's beliefs invalid. It just means they don't agree with you. That's allowed.

    September 17, 2010 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • esammee

      I'm sorry, Tom, but most of those are specious arguments. Yes, cures are BEING DEVELOPED. The glitch is that none of those developed has, until recently, even been given the FDA okay for a clinical trial. One was recently approved for spinal cord repair but has not yet jumped thru the last of the bureaucratic hoops to initiate; another for eye repair is in the works, awaiting FDA approval. The facts will out if indeed the trials are ever allowed to proceed. hESC treatments are being used, anecdotally, around the world with success. The clinical trial(s) will tell the story. But please keep in mind that anything that ASCs can do, hESC can do, and more. The reverse is not true. The only significant "ethical question" as far as I can tell revolves around whether to throw those excess embryos into the freezer forever, throw them away, or use them for treatments and possible cures. There is, also, the remote possibility that if the prospective parents will agree, a surrogate family can be found, and the attempt at pregnancy succeeds, the so-called snowflake option. But the last I heard there were around 400,000 excess embryos.

      September 17, 2010 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      While I agree that labeling everyone that disagrees with you a "religious zealot" is not fair, when people continually make dishonest or inaccurate arguments, and then refuse to respond to counter-points, it certainly gives the appearance of being a zealot. So, let me respond to your arguments against stem cells. If you can rebut these, I would be happy to back off claims zealotry.

      1. "No cures have come from ESCs (or more cures have come from adult stem cells)." esammee already nicely responded to this, pointing out that there are cures from ESCs in the pipeline. The bigger point is that embryonic stem cell research has been virtually illegal in the US, which has been the leader in biomedical research (although ESC research can be done, the restrictions are so great that ESC research has been very difficult, even with private funds). Of course more cures have come from the area of research that has been funded, and fewer from the unfunded area. If we outlawed penicillin, we would find that few infections are then cured by penicillin (and more by other antibiotics); obviously that would not mean that penicillin is useless. And research is global (since advances are publicly disseminated), so restrictions in the US slow research globally. Put simply, the scientists that work in this area have dedicated their lives curing diseases. Almost all of them feel that ESC research has significant potential. Just as I would not presume to tell my mechanic which tool is best to fix my car, I don't understand why people with no research experience would presume to tell the researchers which tools are going to be most useful for their research. Additionally, the lack of ESC research has slowed research on adult stem cells, because many of the experiments to understand how to reprogram adult stem cells require ESCs as controls. In short, it is one thing to be against ESCs for moral reasons, but don't pretend that the reason that you are against them is that they are not useful.

      2. "It destroys human life." If you believe that life starts at conception, there is a potential issue here. However, anyone who objects to ESC research, yet does not similarly object to in vitro fertilization and to the pill are either hypocritical or uninformed. In vitro fertilization creates a surplus of embryos, which will eventually be destroyed (not matter how much the right talks about adopting embryos, there is no way that the demand for embryos will match the supply). One of the mechanisms by the pill can prevent pregnancy is by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. If you are against all of these, I have no problem with you; however, most of the people protesting ESC research have been silent on these other issues, demonstrating the dishonesty of their argument. More to the point, these are embryos that would be destroyed anyway, so the research is not really destroying the embryos. This is essentially like organ donation – rather than letting an embryo that is going to be destroyed go to waste, cells are harvested from it to potentially save future lives. Parents can consent to have the kids organs donated (for transplantation or research), so why should they not be able to consent to have their embryos' ESCs donated?

      September 18, 2010 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
    • esammee

      Thank you Doug for your well-written, articulate response. The Daily Kos has an article which includes links to the Congressional Hearing recently held by Sen. Harkin (the whole thing, proponents and opponents), a summary, as well as to your representatives in Congress. dailykos.com/story/2010/9/18/8286/54345?new=true

      Please let your representatives know that you support this research and legislation which will end the torture of the whims of politics.

      September 18, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Tom.

      When you advocate a position that so many experts say will result in suffering and death, don't you have a responsibility to check the facts?

      And then to double check?

      Please, I am a tax paying, Sunday school teaching, PTA volunteering Mom; doesn't my life warrant your verifying the "scientific" claims made by your lay leader at YOUR Church?

      You take the time to stop medical research, shouldn't you actually research the issue first?
      (I predict you will joyfully thank God for the recent ESC progress on curing and preventing blindness! And the repair of damaged spinal cords that is expected to help the paralyzed regain movement! God's gift of ESCs is expected to make an even bigger impact in the development of treatments than cures! WOW!)

      September 19, 2010 at 10:12 | Report abuse |
    • MojoBlack

      hey tom boy ur dumb............. you ever read....? hmmmmmm i hope u get paralized... then a get a gay man to be you home nurse.........

      September 19, 2010 at 18:02 | Report abuse |
  9. Sherif

    "this is a matter of conscience for me and millions of Americans, who are deeply troubled that their taxpayer dollars would go to destroying a human life."

    A big chunk of the taxpayer dollars goes to destroying human life, hundreds of thousands of lives in military spending. Why is his conscience bothering him now?

    September 17, 2010 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MashaSobaka

      Because he’s a filthy hypocrite, that’s why.

      September 20, 2010 at 00:05 | Report abuse |
  10. Steve

    There is no moral issue here. The stem cells are taken from embryos that are available because of in vitro fertilization. The choice is between defrosting the embryos and throwing them away, or using them for research. So, the people opposed to "destroying" embryos should argue that in vitro fertilization should not be legal. I think our society has already decided that issue.

    September 18, 2010 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Arthur Dent

    No, there is absolutely no moral issue here at all. Either use them for some of the most promising research ever presented or throw them away. That is the choice. It is only because of religious superstitions that ARE NOT supported by scientific facts, but are in fact negated by the facts.

    Why do we have to keep interrupting such valuable research that could relieve so much human suffering at the will of people who believe in bronze age myths that are far less moral than modern secular morality and law?

    Peace and Love to All!

    September 18, 2010 at 10:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. 2Faced

    This is an avenue that we should go down or we may never advance in certain areas of medicine.Most oncology is based on wiping out all the fastest growing cells and starting from scratch.The newer oncology drugs enter a cell thru the receptors and try to reprogram them.Some Hiv-medicine is based on tricking the virus during duplication.Just think for a second what we could do if we had "starter cells" and program them to grow as we wanted it to.Those starter cells could grow into tissue...tissue into organ?Trick our own bodies..I think it is limited to what type of cells though..Hmmm......There would be some immediate problems I could think of like immune antibodies being produced like allergies and of course the unknown variables......We will never know unless we explore the possibilities.Where would we be today without Christopher Columbus,Tom Edison or Jonas Salk? shhhhhhh... Keep this away from Mr. Founding Father Glen Beck because he wants America to go back to 1800 with the outhouses,disease, and no electricity...Good times Glen .............Good Times......

    September 18, 2010 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thomas Jefferson

      I wrote the Declaration Of Independence and who is this Glen Beck?

      September 18, 2010 at 14:14 | Report abuse |
    • John Henry Adams

      Do you really think the Founding Fathers would like Glen Beck? Have a few barleys down at the local tavern?

      September 18, 2010 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
  13. Alysha

    Abortion is going to happen anyway. They might as well use the stem cells so that at least it seems like that baby had a reason for dying.

    September 18, 2010 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • esammee

      Alysha – no babies are dying. This has zero to do with abortion. As I posted above to Walterfalls, please understand that this has NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING to do with abortion. This is a ball of cells smaller than the period at the end of a sentence that was created in a petri dish in a lab at an IVF clinic. No mother, no womb, no baby, no abortion. When prospective parents have decided not to go forward with that particular ball of cells, it would be either frozen forever or disposed of as medical waste. This research gives those cells the opportunity to be the ones that go on living, giving life and health to many

      September 18, 2010 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      The cells must be 4-7 days after DISH fertilization.

      No woman knows she is pregnant in 4 days & no Doc could find the tiny cell anyway! Using aborted fetuses is illegal!

      The huge fund raising, political career building industry opposed to Embryonic Stem Cell Research inserted abortion into the issue to alarm and motivate people to write a check or vote for their otherwise unelectable candidate.

      When the DECADE OF DELAY of medical advancement is over, and new cures and treatments are available, and the number of lives lost are tallied; how will those who wrote those checks feel?

      September 19, 2010 at 10:24 | Report abuse |
  14. Richard

    Anyone know the difference between current federally funded 21 lines of embryonic research approved by President Bush and the additional 54 lines approved by Obama? Answer: Republican hyprocrisy and election year.

    September 18, 2010 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. TYRANNASAURUS

    Stem cell debate returns to Capitol Hill........... I SURE WHEN THEY FIND GREAT CURES THROUGH THE USE OF STEM CELLS THE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES WILL BE THE FIRST IN LINE TO DEMAND TREATMENT.

    September 18, 2010 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Michael

    Conservative idiots equate stem cell research with abortion. This has absolutely nothing to do with abortion. I bet if a breast cancer cure or a cure for heart disease came from stem cell research, every conservative who opposed stem cell research suffering from these ailments would be in line for the treatment.

    September 18, 2010 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rebecca

      Your right, science cannot improve without risk.

      March 3, 2011 at 23:48 | Report abuse |
  17. forexjam1

    advance science ..help us live live longer... colonize space to spread our kind.. but of course this makes no sense to the ones against.. there always senseless restrictions..

    September 18, 2010 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Kyle

    I would say to make this legal I mean as long as they are doing to move humans forward in discovoring cures for cancer or what ever it may be. I believe that it should be up to the person not a law because its better then throwing the stem cell out and not letting us use the stem cells for research.

    September 18, 2010 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Gloria Poole,RN

    Anyone who would take medicines made from aborted babies is a real degenerate person. It is cannabalism! And it is evil. Would you who say you are in favor of this research be in favor of it if it had "truth in lending " [labeling laws by FDA] that said this medicine is made from aborted babies? it is gross,vile,disgusting. Abhorrent,stomach turning. Only Harvard fools who were brainwashed like Pavlov's dogs believe in that voodoo medicine made from chopped,diced.sliced humans! The debate is macabre also. Anyone who follows the debate knows that the so-called scientists have almost totally shunned adult stem cell research in which the cells are taken from the same person to whom they are to be injected in a different part of body. That adult stem therapy is already being done without 500 MILLION of phony grants to the NIH.
    Get a grip on this issue. Chopping and grinding up humans is immoral, and it has to be illegal also.
    Gloria Poole,RN

    September 18, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Doug

      It is hard to tell whether you are clueless or dishonest, but as pointed out by many people on the board, this has nothing to do with abortion. ESCs are generally harvested from extra embryos left over from in vitro fertilization. These embryos were made in a test tube, and get discarded eventually if not implanted or used for research.

      And I am assuming based on your argument that you would never accept a donated organ? After all, that is cannibalization by your absurd definition. The simple reality is that if my kid dies, I can opt to have his organs donated (for transplantation or research). By the same logic, if an IVF clinic makes too many embryos to be implanted in my wife, and therefore plans to destroy the extras, why can't I decided to donate these to research.

      September 19, 2010 at 00:36 | Report abuse |
    • Aezel

      Are you off your meds? Do you even know where stem cells come from? Chopped up babies? +1 for your utter stupidity and ignorance. Congratulations on buying the right-wing nut propaganda on this issue hook line and sinker. Do they have to feed you in the morning as well or do you have the brainpower to figure that one out for yourself?

      September 19, 2010 at 02:44 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Gloria, please unpin your RN from your chest, dust off your research ability and check the facts!

      Some time in the future, even the Catholic Church will issue an apology and heartfelt sorrow over the loss of lives resulting from their objections to ESCR. (the majority of Church members silently support ESCR)

      Of course, hundreds of thousands of us will have suffered and died in vain....

      September 19, 2010 at 10:31 | Report abuse |
    • MyMomHasParkinsons

      You're a moron......

      September 19, 2010 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
  20. Anne

    Isn't life destroyed everyday at abortion clinics thoughout our nation? Isn't it paid for by the government? Isn't there a way to use that process for something benificial like finding cures for cancer and alzheimers disease? Lots of questions...

    September 18, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Chicken

    You kill more cells picking up a hot cup of coffee; the only difference is that stem cells have the potential to grow into anything.

    September 18, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. theotherguy9

    I see nothing wrong with Stem Cell research. Church goers also oppose abortion. All they are doing is stopping the advancement of Science and therefor Mankind.

    September 19, 2010 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Aezel

    So man stupid comments on this page. First of all, stem cell research is not abortion. Do you know where these cells come from? The fertilized embryo's are LEFTOVERS, often from in vitro fertilization attempts. One of two things will happen to these leftover embryo's: They will be thrown away, or they will be used for research. They will NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BECOME A CHILD NO MATTER WHAT AND NEVER HAD ANY CHANCE TO ONCE THEY WERE PASSED OVER FOR IMPLANTATION. You are not "killing" anything. It is a clump of cells you need a microscope to see. Your liver can live outside your body longer.

    September 19, 2010 at 02:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Doug B

    One of the things mentioned from the opponents of stem cell research is the point about tax payer dollars. The US government has a vested interest in stem cell research. The possible cures and treatments could save our country trillions of dollars over the next century. R & D is always costly, but the returns usually far exceed the cost. Please call your your state representative, and make sure they support stem cell research.

    September 19, 2010 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Dennis Baltimore

    I hate to say this, almost. But, I wish every right winged religious zealot that opposed stem cell research had a child afflicted with a life threatening condition that could only be cured with the use of stem cells. Let's see how many of these bigots would whistle a new tune in a heartbeat! Get off your moral horse you morons!

    September 19, 2010 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MyMomHasParkinsons

      RIGHT ON! I totally agree.

      September 19, 2010 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
  26. Tom

    They should introduce new legislation in congress for this NOW.Then see who votes for it who doesn't.The American people will once again get reminder the "party of smaller government" is anything but.

    September 19, 2010 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Brett Favre's fan (a.k.a. ybs)

    The same fakking religious folks that use (or turn a deaf ear to) in-vitro fertilization, pontificate about the sanctity of life regarding ESCs!

    September 19, 2010 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Brett Favre's fan (a.k.a. ybs)

    Let's have laws so that those that are against ESCs will not be able to use/leverage ESC treatments in the future. Neither can their offspring.

    September 19, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Lee

    The company "Advanced Cell Technology, Inc." has technology that allows extraction and growth of embryonic stem cells without killing any embryo.

    September 19, 2010 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Dawn

    Fine.
    Lets ban IVF then.
    That's far more insidious than stem cell research any day. What with the Octomoms and the Kate Goslins and such, not to mention that it's just freakishly weird (see: abomination) to create a baby in a dish just because your body is telling you that you aren't such a fantastic specimen, and probably shouldn't make copies.

    No more IVF, not nearly so many useless embryos sitting in a freezer, either being tossed or studied.

    September 19, 2010 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Michael

    Doug – then I guess you have no problem with me as I'm against in vitro fertilization and the Plan B morning after pill as well as embryonic stem cell research. I have a different perspective on the issue because I was adopted instead of aborted.

    September 19, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MyMomHasParkinsons

      You're an idiot.......

      September 19, 2010 at 23:34 | Report abuse |
    • esammee

      Michael, it's sad that you are against IVF; it brings life, love and family to couples who would otherwise be denied. It is your choice not to participate. I'm afraid, though, that ship has already sailed. I recognize your side of the Plan B issue, but remember, it's not nearly the whole story. And it is a wonderful thing that you appreciate the life that has been given to you. One thought, however, how do you know that your biological parent(s) even considered abortion? She/they may not have entertained that notion for so much as a second.

      More to the point, however, please don't try to tie Plan B and abortion to hESC research, in even this oblique and shallow fashion.. They are completely separate issues. hESC research has absolutely nothing to do with abortion, nothing. The fertilized egg in the petri dish is going to be disposed of as medical waste or frozen in perpetuity.

      If you feel so very strongly, perhaps you could try to "adopt" an embryo and pay forward your debt.

      September 20, 2010 at 00:29 | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Michael, I strongly disagree with your opinion, but at least you're consistent.

      September 20, 2010 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Michael, if you disagree with IVF and embryonic stem cell research, at least this is a rational, consistent position. Therefore, while I disagree with you, I have far more respect for you than for those whose opinions are obviously hypocritical and immune to reason.

      However, you ignored the one other issue that falls into the same category – the pill. The standard birth control pill also causes destruction of embryos. The pill has a couple mechanisms of action. It prevents ovulation and reduces the chances of fertilization. However, it also prevents implantation of fertilized eggs. Therefore, it can cause the death of fertilized eggs. Thus, I am assuming in your passion to protect embryos, that you are against the pill.

      Additionally, I said that I would not view as zealots those whose views are consistent (which it seems yours are, assuming you are protesting against the pill), and those that could respond to counter-arguments. You did not do the latter. So, let me give you another chance. ESC research is quite distinct from abortion. There are always more parents willing to adopt babies than there are babies available, so when one decides to abort, they are making the decision to take away the opportunity of that child to find a loving home. While I believe that is the mother's choice, I can understand how others might disagree. However, the same is not true for embryonic stem cells. As long as IVF is legal, there will always be way more embryos sitting in freezers than there could ever be demand for these embryos. Therefore, the question isn't a choice between using the embryos for research vs carrying them to term; the choice is using them for research vs destroying them. So, what I just don't understand (and would love for you to answer) is why you would rather see an embryo destroyed than see it used.

      To me, this is exactly like organ donation; obviously I would be against harvesting organs from living, healthy people, but once I am dead, I would rather my body be put to use helping others rather than have it buried in the ground. I can make the choice to donate my child's organs if he dies. Why can't I make the same choice for my leftover IVF embryos. You may wish IVF was illegal, but as long as it is legal (and producing excess embryos), it seems like we should make the best of the situation by not letting those embryos go to waste.

      September 20, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
  32. Best stem cell clinics in South America

    Stem cell therapy research and development is growing by leaps and bounds. While stem cell gene therapy is being studied in the U.S., and clinical trials are under way in a variety of medical studies and fields, no stem cell replacement therapy has yet been offered here. A number of excellent and world-renowned facilities may be found in international destinations, offering hope of treatment for those unable to access such treatments in the U.S.

    One such facility is that of Dr. Omar Gonzalez, of the Integra Medical Center in Tamps, Mexico. His facilities offer a different approach to treatment, combining American, European, and Chinese medical approaches to whole-body health. Dr. Gonzalez specializes in placenta-based stem cell therapy. Both umbilical cord stem cell therapy and placenta stem cell therapy are considered ethical and non-controversial.

    Dr. Steenblock and his Stem Cell MD center is a specialist in personalized regenerative therapies, has offices in Mission Viejo and Tijuana, though he has treated individuals from around the globe with unique delivery combination of hyperbaric oxygen, pulsed magnetic therapy and other techniques designed to repair and regenerate the body’s ability to produce healthy stem cells.

    The facilities of EmCell in Kiev, Ukraine offer individuals nearly two decades of experience in stem cell treatments. To date, the clinic has offered human stem cell therapy for conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

    American Stem Cell and Anti Aging Center in Quito, Ecuador, offers one of the best stem cell clinics in South America for the treatment of chronic disease processes, cancer and other disease processes that have responded positively to stem cell therapy.

    Thanks for everything, I'm so glad that I spoke to you and found such a wonderful Stem Cell Therapy. If you need to visit this hospital then feel free here: 1.303.578.0719, info@placidway.com

    October 4, 2010 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply

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