Note – This is a repost of a March 13th post which has been lost
America, we’ve been duped; from our president, our fourth estate, and sadly even some of our scientists. President Obama’s lifting of the ban on federal funding for ESC research this week, albeit heart wrenching, was expected. What wasn’t expected, or reported in the MSM , was the “under the radar” revocation of funding for alternative stem cell research, Executive Order 13435 (June 20, 2007), by President George W. Bush.
I don’t know about you, but my head is spinning! I keep asking myself what I might be missing, but so far everything I read or research turns up the same. Are we really going to stop funding the ethical, ground breaking progress in ethical alternatives, and instead, fund the “unethical obsolete” embryonic research that involves the destruction of human embryos?
You will want to read what Attorney Sam Casey has to say. Prepare to be shocked and if you are a scientist or physician, I hope you will consider signing the Amnesty For Babies petition. Here’s an excerpt
Sam Casey, Advocates International’s General Counsel and one of the attorneys involved in the federal court litigation in 2001 that resulted in the lawful and ethical stem cell research policy revoked by President Obama, labeled the President’s actions today “legally limited, unnecessary, unethical and fiscally irresponsible.”~~~
It was scientifically unnecessary and even counter-productive because ethically sound ways and means for advancing stem cell science and medical treatments were already authorized and moving forward under Executive Order 13435 that President Obama revoked today.”~~~
Casey also points out that while opposition to human ES cell research is often cast by news reports as primarily a religious objection, there are many scientists, physicians, and reproductive health professionals who object based on their knowledge of the humanity of human embryos and their knowledge of stem cell therapeutics. A growing worldwide list of them is publicly expressing their objection by endorsing an online scientists’ and physicians’ declaration against human ES cell research and abortion.
Casey also noted that “President Obama’s actions today are obviously ethically offensive to everyone who understands the undisputed scientific biological fact, as recently affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal, that ‘during its embryonic age,’ a human embryo is ‘a whole, separate, unique, living human being, an individual living member of the species of Homo sapiens.'” See Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, 530 F.3rd 724, 735-736 (8th Cir 2008). “For all who understand this biological fact and also believe that every human being has intrinsic moral value — President Obama’s decision is clearly unethical,” Casey said. “Destroying one human life through human experimentation, even in order to possibly help other human beings, is always morally wrong and should not be countenanced by any government, particularly in this case where it is not even necessary and the subject of the experimentation cannot possibility give his or her consent. It is also ethically wrong to force taxpayers who do honor the dignity of every human being to help pay for research that they believe is an immoral taking of innocent human life.”~~~
“we think it is fiscally irresponsible to channel limited federal funds away from research that has a proven track record of treating human disease into research that shows no hope for doing so.”
In all of American History, federal funds have never before been allowed for research on human subjects. Earlier this week I posted in some detail , why this funding was not only immoral and unnecessary, but scientifically, a giant step backwards. Despite all the hype and misleading rhetoric, embryonic stem cell technology will be, as one leading scientist said, at best a mere footnote. If anyone cares to talk a look at the original rhetoric, take a look at this 2004 Democratic convention speech.
As in all situations, a silver cloud always surfaces. This news appears to have at least brought journalist Kathleen Parker back to earth. Thank God. I was convinced after that last fluff piece on the Obamas’ svelte bodies aboard Air Force One, we might have lost her for good. Welcome back Kathleen, and thanks for being one of the lone rangers out there with the guts to call it what it may well be; the ethical dilemma of the century!
Time magazine named iPS innovation No. 1 on its “Top 10 Scientific Discoveries” of 2007, and the journal Science rated it the No. 1 breakthrough of 2008.~~~
The iPS discovery even prompted Ian Wilmut, who led the team that cloned Dolly the sheep, to abandon his license to attempt human cloning, saying that the researchers “may have achieved what no politician could: an end to the embryonic stem cell debate.” And, just several days ago, Dr. Bernadine Healy, director of the National Institutes of Health under the first President Bush, wrote in U.S. News & World Report that these recent developments “reinforced the notion that embryonic stem cells . . . are obsolete.”~~~
Good people can disagree on these things, but those who insist that this is “only about abortion” miss the point. The objectification of human life is never a trivial matter. And determining what role government plays in that objectification may be the ethical dilemma of the century.
In this case, science handed Obama a gift — and he sent it back
There’s still at least two more, very important shoes that can drop. One is the Dicky-Wicker Amendment (1950), the other the Weldon Amendment (2004); both which will involve congress. The Dickey Amendment currently protects human embryos (federally funded), to be either created or destroyed. Obama tells us he is against cloning, but it sounded to me like his typical “double-speak.” Considering he also told us he’s for unity and factual science, I’ll take a wait and see on that one, thank you. Do know, that if approved, cloning or heaven help us fetal farming, could open the door to places no man should dare go.
The Weldon Amendment relates to patent rights.
The Weldon Amendment would prohibit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from issuing any patent “on claims directed to or encompassing a human organism.” The USPTO understands the Weldon Amendment to provide unequivocal congressional backing for the long-standing USPTO policy of refusing to grant any patent containing a claim that encompasses any member of the species Homo sapiens at any stage of development. It has long been USPTO practice to reject any claim in a patent application that encompasses a human life-form at any stage of development, including a human embryo or human fetus; hence claims directed to living “organisms” are to be rejected unless they include the adjective “nonhuman.”
As one might expect, it was forcefully opposed by the Biotech Industry. If revoked in the near future, it could mean cash cows for many, while taking America down to an almost unimaginable new low. No question about it, embryos have no voice regarding how they are used or how they may be patented.
I would be remiss in not mentioning, in addition to his unwavering respect for the dignity of every human life, the hundreds of thousands of dollars President GW Bush put into alternative ethical stem cell research. ESC research was NEVER banned, only the use of federal funds. No one will convince me otherwise that in generously funding ethical alternatives, it didn’t add to the stunning iPSC success (Wisconsin, a key player, was partly funded by NIH monies). I grant you the iPS technology out of Japan wasn’t US funded, but I absolutely believe it was “US influenced.” Remember, people who are opposed to immoral technology are also going to be opposed to immoral therapies. I don’t waste too much time worrying about how we will sort them out based on the fact I’m pretty convinced there isn’t likely to be any therapeutic therapies from human embryos. It’s more likely that future therapies will be done by in vivo stem cell repair.
Not only did GW Bush get NO credit, he was constantly labeled a Luddite, when in fact, we have all just witnessed who the real Luddites in America are.
So how is all of the “new funded money” going to be spent? If this wasn’t so egregious it would be fascinating, after all, who could make this stuff up? America do you realize what has transpired? It’s no longer only the helpless embryos who are being exploited, WE too (albeit in a much lesser way), are also being exploited. I predict if we took a poll right now, the majority of Americans would honestly think (also owing to the fact that the average American doesn’t grasp the life science involved) that Bush stymied science and FINALLY, Obama will be bringing home the cures! Common sense only should tell us that expensive stem cell therapies aren’t compatible with a Nationalized Healthcare Plan
So what’s really behind it? Sure, we can follow the money, the Bush derangement Syndrome mentality, or even the vaunted egos of a select group of scientists. IMO, it’s far bigger than all of that. As I mentioned in my first post, it’s much about abortion and dare I say, conscience. Don’t you see, if we acknowledge that it’s immoral to kill a one day old embryo, than how could we possibly justify abortion or even in vitro fertilization (which by the way is also immoral, but another topic, another time)? After all, aren’t we “entitled” to both?
We also now have two states with legal euthanasia, (and fortunately, one glimmer of hope in ND that recently gave embryos the protection of personhood). Once national healthcare kicks in, “population/cost control”, i.e., euthanasia and abortion, will most likely be just part of the program, so we best start getting used to the culture of death.
All said, allow me to simply sum it up. For an obvious hidden agenda, despite what he says, the actions of Barack Obama clearly are not conducive to any breakthroughs and cures in stem cell research. Most certainly private companies will carry on just fine with private funding in the iPS work (and in that there is indeed real hope). Let’s hope and pray they don’t misuse the science, but I suspect it will too powerful of a force (evil), at least for some; simply too powerful to resist.
I guess now it makes sense why, Ron McKay, a stem cell researcher at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, when asked by a Washington Post reporter Rick Weiss about 5 years ago, why scientists have allowed society to believe wrongly that stem cells are likely to effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease. McKay’s response, “PEOPLE NEED A FAIRYTALE. Maybe that’s unfair, but they need a story line that’s relatively simple to understand.”
The only problem with that answer is, unlike Fairytales, this one isn’t going to end “happily after after.”Stay tuned America, and keep your eyes on congress and those upcoming amendments.