Type 1 Diabetic Pro-Humanist
Responds to Bush Stem Cell Decision
, Part 2
(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 081201)

Initial response, 10 minutes after the Bush speech ...

Typical Political Machinations ... (080901)
http://prohuman.net/social_legal/political_machinations.htm
"... Tonight's decision by Bush to forego federal funds
for stem cell research regarding embryos which are
destined to be discarded, but instead, saying federal
funds will go for *existing stem lines*, resulting from
private research which has already resulted in the
termination of embryos. ..."

- - -

Follow-ups written later that night and Friday, 8/10/01,
up to 2:01 PM CT ...

Type 1 Diabetic Pro-Humanist Responds
to Bush Stem Cell Decision (081001)
http://prohuman.net/social_legal/stem_cell_decision.htm
"... The decision by Bush may be adequately
assessed in one word ... 'COWARD' ..."

- - -

Follow-ups written late Friday, Saturday, and today ...

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Follow-up 10 (6:22 PM CT, 8/10/01), responding to
a person asking if I had any reason to believe there
would be a shortage of stem cells due to the Bush
decision?

The Bush plan restricts federal funds to existing stem
cell lines, spread out across the world, of undetermined
quality, of questionable availability, and of limited genetic
variability.

Researchers utilizing federal funds under that plan would
be blocked in any research endeavor that required greater
genetic variability or required genetic research apart from
the pool of available stem cell lines.

In other words, once a researcher dips into the federal
fund pool, any research apart from existing stem cell lines
would have to occur in some kind of exclusionary basis,
with federal funds/requirements to conform to those stan-
dards kept separate from any research not using existing
stem cell lines.

Meanwhile, blastocysts/embryos at fertility clinics, des-
tined to be discarded which is the case for the over-
whelming majority, would only be able to contribute to
cures via the efforts of private research.

Pre-life saved by the Bush plan? None. Really, a case of
Bush playing politics and pretending to show interest in
blastocysts when really, not a single blastocyst, not one,
is saved. Follow that with the research restrictions, and
potential cures/treatments for millions are delayed while
"the games politicians play" go on-and-on.

The stance of religionists, by and large, on this issue?

They place the welfare of humankind in god's hands,
and god (per their views) continues to kill, maim, torture,
malign, abuse, and destroy sentient life through a wide
range of diseases and methods, obliterates most blasto-
cysts and embryos by virtue of the way it designed nature,
and, what the hell, eventually it inflicts horrific pain or
oblivion on everyone not one with "the right" belief
system ...

Place that kind of philosophy in a president of the United
States, and it's little wonder that he displays so little inter-
est in or understanding of the human responsibilities to
promote the best that we can be, in this life, on this earth,
at this time.

His 'make believe' game of pretending to care? It worked
for some, at first, but I anticipate that as folks have a
chance to digest and consider the ramifications of his
plan, they will be more inclined to support a greater fed-
eral involvement in utilizing to the full extent possible the
blastocysts otherwise destined to be discarded, thereby
promoting cures/treatments for diseases expeditiously and
with sound minds and hearts.

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Follow-up 11 (2:41 PM CT, 8/11/01)

"only the Great Creator could come and explain to us"

Bush Defends Stem-Cell Choice

---
[link no longer available]
-http://abcnews.go.com/sections/2020/DailyNews/2020_010809_bushintvw.html-
---

Excerpt:

"... By letting federal funds be used for research on exist-
ing lines of stem cells — which were derived from human
embryos that already have been destroyed — Bush said
he has "laid the framework" to "find out whether or not
embryonic stem-cell research will yield treatment and
cure."

But asked whether his decision to allow any such research
effectively condoned the destruction of embryos, Bush
said, "Not at all."

"I don't think that. Otherwise, I would not have gone for-
ward with the decision," Bush said. "I know the life-and-
death decision has been made. The fundamental question
is, Are we going to destroy more embryos as we go into
the future? And my answer to that is, We shouldn't."

- - - pause in excerpt - - -

Insertion at this point to clarify the ramifications of that
statement ...

Bush's stem-cell fumble
Whatever Bush decided, embryos will continue to be
destroyed -- so why not use them to save other lives?
http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2001/08/10/stem_cell/index.html

Excerpt:

"... For opponents of stem-cell research, like Rep. Tom
Delay, R-Texas, who feel that destroying embryos is
tantamount to murder, the campaign against stem-cell
research is a pathetic dodge: If they really feel that way,
they should be campaigning to outlaw in vitro fertilization
itself.

They're not doing that because it's politically suicidal and
self-contradictory: Fertility treatment, after all, is just a
latter-day means to be fruitful and multiply; what could
be more "pro-life"?

Embryos are being destroyed, and will continue to be
destroyed, as long as in vitro fertilization is available.

Bush's decision doesn't change that. So the only real
question is, will these embryos have any meaning or
offer anything toward the greater good of humanity?

Can anything of value be rescued from their destruction?

Can their loss help save other lives? ..."

- - -

Stem cell limits worry scientists

[link no longer available]
http://www.salon.com/politics/wire/2001/08/10/scientist_stem/index.html

Excerpt:

"President Bush's decision to limit embryonic stem
cell studies to existing sets -- whether it's 60 or a
dozen -- could be a "cruel compromise" excluding
people from medical miracles promised by the new
science, researchers say.

They said that only by studying stem cells from many
different embryos can science be sure that treatments
developed would be universally available. By limiting
the number, they said, there is the risk of creating two
biological classes -- those who can be treated with
stem cell therapy and those who cannot. ..."

- - -

- - - continue excerpt on Bush defense of his decision - - -

'A Moral Decision'

Bush insisted that he'd "absolutely" kept his campaign
promise to oppose government funding for research
that involves destroying living human embryos.

"I think a president ought to stick to principle," Bush
said. "And the statement I made during the campaign
which is consistent with my decision was based upon
principle."

The decision, he said, "was not a political decision,"
but "a very moral decision … I think this is the kind
of decision where it does require prayer. Prayerful
consideration. And I'm very comfortable with the
decision I made."

His belief that life begins at conception influenced his
decision, he said, "and the truth of the matter is, if you
really think it through, you know that's a decision that
only the Great Creator could come and explain to us.
Or an answer the Great Creator could explain to us." ...

- - - end excerpt - - -

Comments: The "Great Creator"? Is that a Methodist
dogma or is that just a personal Bush spin on God? If
the "Great Creator", mentioned 4,635 or so times in the
christian bible, had no clue about stem cells, embryos,
fetuses, or the like, doesn't that convey a basic flaw in
the entire christian philosophy, for all the "Great Creator"
would have to do, to convey this critical piece of infor-
mation, was to say "Life begins at conception!"

I mean, really, when Moses was on the Mt. or Noah was
floating around in a sea of dead bodies, or Adam was
laying around with nothing better to do in his multi-
hundred-year life span, or Jesus was prancing around
the countryside, wouldn't a simple phrase "Life begins
at conception!" be a piece-of-cake to pass on to human-
kind?

Of course it would be.

The fact of the matter is, there is no god and never has
been and the christian bible and the idiots interpreting the
christian faith haven't got the balls to admit it.

Basing critical life-and-death policy on ancient myth is
absurd and an offense against that which is our natural-
istic existence.

- - -

The emperor has no clothes - the evidence is the docu-
ment called the christian bible and the manifestation of
the harm that often results from 'make believe' is the
president called Bush.

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Follow-up 12 (3:18 PM CT, 8/11/01), responding to
a person who thought the existing stem cell lines were
enough (that there will be no need to use additional
stem cell lines) ...

You apparently didn't understand the following weaknes-
ses in the Bush position:

1) embryos, as a result of fertility treatment, will continue
to be discarded and the only way to prevent that is to
prevent fertility treatments - the Bush stance saves nary
a single blastocyst

2) scientific research using federal funds will be slowed
and hindered by the non-variability of the genetic mater-
ial available (if cures are developed using the limited
stem cell lines, those cures would only be available for
persons whose genetic make-up matched those lines; the
number of individuals outside that specific genetic con-
struct could not be helped, thereby yielding the Bush
decision as either partially helpful, at best, or anti-human,
at worst, if research for cures is slowed or developed
cures are not available to all individuals due to the re-
search restrictions)

3) the claim that cells (blastocysts) are life is scientific-
ally false, as there is both life potential and, due to stem
cell research, the potential for development of cures for
a host of diseases impacting over 50 million Americans
within blastocysts - any claim of "life" is both contrary
to the law and science, and can only be held if one
wishes to treat cells as life - in other words, it's 'make
believe' and a reflection of religious spins/guilt-trips
regarding sex/desires to control people via religious
myths.

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Follow-up 13 (8:03 PM CT, 8/11/01), responding to
a person who mentioned Leon Kass, the person who
was chosen to head up the Bush Council on Bioethics ...

Information on Kass:

[link no longer available]
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010810/pl/stemcell_kass_dc_1.html

Excerpt: "... Leon Kass, 62, a strong opponent of human
cloning and a long-time critic of research that he sees as
leading to dangerous tinkering with human life, was already
under some criticism the day after Bush announced his
selection.

John Gearhart of Johns Hopkins University, interviewed
on the NBC Today Show, said he found it "troubling"
that in Kass the President had chosen "an individual
who's already gone on record as being opposed to this
research."

Gearhart also criticized Bush's decision to approve lim-
ited federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research,
saying it could substantially delay the medical progress
that proponents of the research believe the cells could
yield, with their power to regenerate damaged organs
and tissue. ..."

- - -

Kass views on cloning (from the New Republic):
http://www.thenewrepublic.com/052101/kass052101_print.html

My comments on the Kass views ...

Very anti-reproductive-cloning fellow, to the extreme,
almost to an absurd level, who refers to some of the
advancing bio-technological innovations as "degradation",
fearing a "Brave New World" dehumanization or post-
human future.

Appears to be very naive and almost childlike in his
admiration for the way things are, in the world as it now
exists, with all its flaws/aberrations/errors/pain-infliction/
death. That may be due to the tendency for one who
has been taught "god did it" to admire and be grateful
for whatever "god did", no matter how much hardship
it brings to humankind.

His admiration for "the way things are and have always
been", in the real world, bespeaks of a god-soaked view
which pardons god for every malady besetting human-
kind, desiring whatever state of being that exists to be
a reflection of "the design of the creator" (my interpreta-
tion of where his views are probably coming from; an
assumption on my part which may be incorrect).

To solve any problems that might be present in allowing
embryonic cloning for purely non-reproductive research
purposes, he proposes banning *all* cloning, reproduc-
tive and otherwise, a devastating blow to scientific re-
search which can and must use embryonic cloning to
arrive at cures for disease.

Seems very well-informed, and while on the fearful side
regarding the future, while on the anti-progress side re-
garding curing diseases and making a better world for
all, does seem to understand the natural human compul-
sion for a better life, a longer life, a more pro-human
life. He simply treats that compulsion as much less
important than fighting efforts of humankind to make
life better.

If, in the article, he had written a lot more about support-
ing research to cure diseases, lengthen life, improve the
human condition, then his message on cloning would
have had more potential to convey something worth
considering.

Since he showed much more knowledge of pro-human-
istic considerations than interest in same, displaying a
fear of the future and a near-obsession with "the way
things are", I'm afraid his intelligence and scientific
knowledge will be used to hinder/slow/prevent prog-
ress towards cures.

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Follow-up 14 (3:20 PM CT, 8/12/01)

Bush Stem Cell Decision - Frozen Blastocysts /
U.S. Research

Facts regarding blastocysts at fertility clinics, used
in the treatment of female infertility via in vitro fertiliza-
tion (IVF) ...

Frozen blastocysts at fertility clinics ... what chance do
they have at life? Well, if not at fertility clinics, if they
were the result of a natural conception, due to the way
nature (or, if you prefer, god) works, they would have
a 1 in 5 chance at life, if there was no intervention what-
soever by humans to terminate a pregnancy.

Due to the fact they are at fertility clinics, and there are
far more blastocysts than there are women either willing
or legally entitled or physically able to be impregnated
with them, those blastocysts (per reports, ~100,000)
have 1 of 3 fates -

1) if used in implantation/attempt at impregnation, they
have no more than a 1 in 6.7 chance and as little as a
1 in 20 chance at life; so, in the act of trying to create
life at fertility clinics, most blastocysts, as is the case
by nature (or, if you prefer, by God) ,will not become
life:

Excerpt from
[link no longer available]
-http://www.ferti.net/i_and_t/treatment/female_5.asp-
"... The success rate for IVF has remained fairly con-
stant for the last six years at around 15%. The success
rate falls dramatically after age 40 when only 5% of
women treated with their own eggs can expect a live
birth ..."

2) if not used in an attempt to create life, those blasto-
cysts may be used to research the development of
cures to help millions of sentient live beings suffering
from a wide range of ailments or

3) they will be discarded

- - -

The Bush decision saves no blastocysts - it simply
washes its hands of responsibility and allows blasto-
cysts to either be destroyed or be used by *private
research only* to research cures, thereby hindering/
slowing research in the U.S. and resulting in an exo-
dus of some key scientists from U.S. shores ...

Left Behind?
Scientists Warn That Bush Policy Will Put U.S. Behind
[link no longer available]
-http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/DailyNews/wnt_stemcells010811.html-
Excerpt: "... Some of those scientists are planning to
move abroad to perform research that is restricted
under Bush's plan. Dr. Roger Pedersen is one of
America's leading scientists in the field of stem cell
research. But next month he will leave for San Fran-
cisco and move to Cambridge University in England.
The president's policy on stem cells, he says, will
hold America back.

"In a way, it's as if President Kennedy had said,
'we're going to the moon' and then he added, 'we're
only going to use existing rockets. We're not going
to use any new ones.,'" said Pedersen. "You wouldn't
expect astronauts to be terrifically excited about it."

Just the Start of Scientific Exodus

Many fear that Pedersen's departure may be just the
beginning of a scientific exodus to countries with less
stringent laws governing stem cell research such as
Israel, Canada and Britain.

"Some important scientists have said even before this
that they are going to go abroad," said Jonathan Mor-
eno of the University of Virginia. "And some compan-
ies in the United States have already made arrangements
with entities in places like the U.K. So, it's already hap-
pening."

For example, the U.S. Biotech company Geron now
does much of its stem cell work in Scotland where
public funding is generous and less restrictive.

In Britain, stem cell laws are extremely liberal. Embryos
for research can be created or acquired from just about
any source including cloning and they can be used as
long as they are less than two weeks old. And now, the
government is proposing to create a "stem cell bank"
that would provide stem cells to any qualified scientist
in Britain.

U.S. Standards Seen As Restrictive

Compare those standards to the U.S. where publicly-
funded researchers are restricted to existing stem cell
lines many of which may be unusable for certain kinds
of research. ..."

- - -

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Stem Cell References (from previous posts)

Israeli Teams Grows Heart Cells
and Insulin Producing Cells From Human
Embryonic Stem Cells (080101)
http://prohuman.net/science/stem_cell_research2.htm
"... researchers ... have for the first time suc-
ceeded in growing the precursors of heart
cells from human embryonic stem cells ...
In a second study, ... researchers ...demon-
strated that human embryonic stem cells can
produce insulin, a result that could signal an
important step toward a cure for type 1 dia-
betes. ..."

- - -

Stem Cell Research - Comprehensive
Report (073101)
http://prohuman.net/science/stem_cell_research.htm
"Stem Cells: Scientific Progress and Future
Research Directions From the National Insti-
tutes of Health ... Stem Cell Debate - Can
Information Change Opinions? ... Type 1 Dia-
betes - The Risks ... NIH Report - Chapter 7
(Stem Cells and Diabetes) ... Stem Cells - Basic
Information (NIH Report - Executive Summary) ...
Christopher Reeve on politics and stem cell re-
search ... Human Choices Regarding Concep-
tion Compared to Acts of Nature (or god, if one
prefers) ... ..."

- - -

Stem Cell Bill to Wait a Year (102400)
http://prohuman.net/social_legal/stem_cell_bill_wait.htm
"Dead cells tell no tales - the cowardice of the
buffoons in congress, led by the religious right,
delay federal support for desperately needed
cures for juvenile-onset diabetes, Parkinson's,
Alzheimer's and other diseases for yet another
year. Cells saved by this decision? None. Lives
lost and damaged by this decision of religiously
motivated stupidity? _____________? ..."

- - -