Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Beyond the Religious Debate is the Issue of Waste

Completely remove the "religious issue" from the embryonic stem cell debate. (Which I object to anyway...I know quite a few atheists that are opposed to using aborted embryos for stem cell research).

If that debate is removed we are left with the simple fact that the government will (once again) be paying for unproven science...

It seems so elementary. There are famous, rich people with diseases that this research could supposedly cure. Don't you think those rich folk would have either solicited private funding or thrown their own cash in the pot? There has never been success with this, so of course they don't want to put their own money up.

For me the issue is about the ever growing compost pile of wasteful spending that will be plaguing our economy for decades to come...

"...Adult stem cells, on the other hand, are found in all tissues of the growing human being and, according to latest reports, also have the potential to transform themselves into practically all other cell types, or revert to being stem cells with greater reproductive capacity. Embryonic stem cells have not yet been used for even one therapy, while adult stem cells have already been successfully used in numerous patients, including for cardiac infarction (death of some of the heart tissue).

Stem cells are of wide interest for medicine, because they have the potential, under suitable conditions, to develop into almost all of the different types of cells. They should therefore be able to repair damaged or defective tissues (for example, destroyed insulin-producing cells in the pancreas). Many of the so-called degenerative diseases, for which there are as yet no effective therapies, could then be alleviated or healed.

It is remarkable that in the debate–often carried on with little competence–the potential of embryonic stem cells is exaggerated in a one-sided way, while important moral questions and issues of research strategy are passed over in silence. Generally, advocates of research with embryonic stem cells use as their main argument that such research will enable us to cure all of the diseases that are incurable today–cancer, AIDS, Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, and so forth. Faced with such a prospect, it is supposed to be "acceptable" to "overlook" a few moral problems.

On closer inspection, however, the much extolled vision of the future turns out to be a case of completely empty promises: Given the elementary state of research today, it is by no means yet foreseeable, whether even one of the hoped-for treatments can be realized. Basically, such promised cures are a deliberate deception, for behind the mirage of a coming medical wonderland, promoted by interested parties, completely other research objectives will be pursued that are to be kept out of public discussion as much as possible..." (source)

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