The Pro-Cure Movement
(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 060105)

June 6 issue, Newsweek

Those who voted against the stem-cell
research bill may look back on this as
the vote that helped get them tossed
out of office.

High stakes: Bush has vowed to veto
the bill

By Jonathan Alter, Newsweek


As a cancer survivor with an adult-stem-
cell transplant under my belt, I'm not ex-
actly neutral on the issue of embryonic-
stem-cell research. It may end up being
the best chance to save my life.


Will the United States be part of the
most exciting medical research of our



Under Bush's stem-cell policy, 400,000
surplus blastocysts at fertility clinics are
eventually thrown in the trash instead of
a few thousand being used to enhance

To be intellectually coherent, Bush
would have to shut down all in vitro clin-
ics, depriving millions of infertile cou-
ples of the chance for a child.


Most Americans still don't know all
these details, but they're beginning to
understand that religious extremists
are hijacking the political system and
robbing us of our essential national
character -- faith in the future.


- - - end excerpts - - -

On the moral issues with embryonic
stem cell research ...

Morality of 400,000 embryos tossed
in trash bins when a few thousand
could be used by federally funded
research towards cures for diseases
and reduction of the suffering of
birthed sentient humans and the
extension of sentient life?

Personal Note: I've suffered from
type 1 diabetes for over 44 years,
my daughter may get the disease
at some point, though thank good-
ness that hasn't happened to date,
and her children, my grandchild-
dren, may get the disease in the
future (not to mention her cousins
and their offspring having the gen-
etic chance of inheriting the disease
at some point).

The moral case is that tossing em-
bryos into trash bins is abominable
when said embryos (with full con-
sent of individuals wishing to actively
contribute to cures for a whole host
of human maladies) could contribute
to research into ameliorating and
ideally eliminating the suffering of
sentient beings.

Of note, a primary reason that there
are 400,000 embryos unused for
in vitro fertilization is that the govern-
ment has supported their presence
in an effort to birth live children to
infertile couples, a process that
leads to many embryos not making
it to live birth as a direct conse-
quence of the effort to yield a live

The natural state of affairs is that
about 80% of conceptions (embryos)
terminate with *NO* interference by
humans whatsoever, as a natural
state of affairs in human reproduc-
tion. That state of affairs has been
ongoing for many millennia, a state
of affairs which up to the recent
past has resulted in a larger number
of mothers dying and conceptions
terminating than are occurring today,
thanks to modern medicine.

To hold the idiotic and absolutely
indefensible stance that it's moral
to throw embryos into the trash
rather than having them contribute
to cures for birthed sentient beings
is so insane it's almost as if Bush
and his right-wing sycophants are
a personification of Rod Serling's
worst Twilight Zone nightmares ...

Type 1 diabetes is but one of many
diseases and maladies that are within
the realm of advances towards cures
*with*a federally funded "TO THE
MOON AND BEYOND" type of effort
rather than a schizoid fundie religious
jihad endeavoring to KILL embryos in
the name of GOD, for crying out loud.

- - -

Embryonic research now tax funded
(in Connecticut)

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

By Trip Jennings, Copyright 2005


HARTFORD -- Nicole Phaneuf of East
Haddam cheered out loud Tuesday from
the gallery overlooking the House of

State lawmakers had voted 113 to 37
to spend taxpayer money on embryonic
stem cell research, an investment Phan-
euf saw as beneficial to her 5-year-old
daughter, Natasha, who suffers from
juvenile diabetes, which can lead to
heart disease, kidney failure and blind-
ness. "She can't fight things off like
other children," Phaneuf said, tears in
her eyes.

With Tuesday's vote, as early as next
year scientists doing embryonic stem
cell research at Connecticut's univer-
sities and private facilities could reap
up to $10 million a year in taxpayer
money to pay for science that sup-
porters hope will cure such ills.

Connecticut joins only a handful of
states that have funded embryonic
stem cell research despite federal
restrictions imposed by President
Bush on financing the work.


Advocates of embryonic stem cell re-
search point to the remarkable nature
of stem cells, which potentially could
function as a sort of repair system for
the body, theoretically dividing without
limit to replenish other cells as long as
the person or animal is still alive.

Scientists doing embryonic stem cell
research would have to verify that
embryos or stem cells are donated
voluntarily and an institutional review
committee would have to review the
methodology by which the cells are
drawn from an embryo.

Supporters saw Tuesday's margin of
victory as a sign of how debate has
shifted since California decided last
year to fund embryonic stem cell re-
search. Voters there agreed to spend
$3 billion over 10 years.

Using California's vote as a cautionary
tale, supporters argued that Connecti-
cut must spend money to keep embry-
onic stem cell researchers at Yale
University or at UConn from jumping
to other academic institutions in states
that fund the research, such as Cali-
fornia, New Jersey or Massachusetts.

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Leg-
islature easily overrode Gov. Mitt Rom-
ney's veto of stem cell research legis-
lation, which will remove a legal obsta-
cle scientists face before doing the
research in that state.


- - - end excerpts - - -

04 June 2005

Cultural differences in stem cell research

Complete article:

THE contrast could hardly be greater.
Last week South Korea awarded an extra
$1 million to "cloning king" Woo Suk
Hwang at Seoul National University after
his success deriving embryonic stem
cells via therapeutic cloning. He has
already received $26 million for his
work in various forms of government

In the US, federally funded researchers
can work with only a handful of embry-
onic stem cell (ESC) lines derived be-
fore August 2001. However, there are
no national restrictions on privately
funded research.

Perhaps galvanised by Hwang's suc-
cess, the US House of Representatives
last week passed the Stem Cell Re-
search Enhancement Act by 238 votes
to 194. The act would allow federally
funded researchers to study ESCs
derived from spare or rejected IVF
embryos, provided the couples who
donate them are not paid. Private re-
search groups in the US have already
created hundreds of cell lines from
such embryos.

The bill still has to be passed by the
Senate, and President Bush has
threatened to veto it if it is passed.
But Republican senator Arlen Specter,
one of the act's sponsors, claims he
can garner the two-thirds majority re-
quired to overturn any presidential

- - -

Cloning Pioneer Envisions Stem Cell Bank

The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 1, 2005; 12:20 PM



SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korean
cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-suk said
Wednesday he plans to open a stem
cell bank by the end of the year to help
speed up the quest to grow replacement
tissue to treat diseases.


Hwang and his researchers at Seoul
National University created the first em-
bryonic stem cells that genetically match
injured or sick patients, work that was
published in the journal Science last
month. That came just a year after his
team shocked the world by cloning a
human embryo.

The match means the stem cells, the
building blocks of all bodily tissues, are
unlikely to be rejected by the body's
immune system. Researchers hope
the cells can be used to repair damage
caused by ailments such as spinal cord
injuries, diabetes or a genetic immune

Hwang now wants to move his research
into making embryonic stem cells grow
into specific organs and tissues.


Ultimately ... Hwang said he was a scientist
and not a politician.

"Our ultimate goal is for those with incurable
disease to lead social lives, and to recover
their humane right to happiness."

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