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February 22, 2008

Cures desperately needed

I am very sorry to hear that Michael Rudd (2/18, Letters) has been diagnosed with lung cancer. I empathize with his fear and sadness as I have just finished a year of treatment for Stage III breast cancer, which included the removal of my breasts, ovaries and uterus.

The reason that I got cancer at a young age is that I inherited a genetic mutation from my maternal side which, if I have passed on to my 16-month-old son, Eli, will increase his chances of developing several deadly cancers.

I agree with Mr. Rudd that any promising lines of research, including embryonic stem-cell research, need to be aggressively pursued to fight cancer and other terrifying diseases.

The politicians who pander to the religious right on this issue disgust and infuriate me.

The odds are against me living long enough to see Eli graduate from college, but even the remotest possibility of advancement in protecting his health into adulthood, and the health of any other living child or adult, is worth the destruction of a mountain of embryos which would not have become babies anyway.

To those who wish to cripple science: Keep your religious beliefs away from my son’s body. My family, and many others’, need cures.

Emily Lauterbach
Kansas City

Comments

bmmg39

Uh, yeah, Tom. All those things happened. This is a thread about stem-cell research, though, which has nothing to do with religious persecution.

I'm an agnostic. I don't know if there's a supreme being above. I do know, however, that a human embryo is a human being, as it is made clear in dozens of biology (not religion) textbooks. No holy alliance required.

Dan Beyer

Give it a break all ready.
Anyone with brains understands what this issue is about.
It's not about religious boogeymen.

Tom K

There was the takeover of Rome. There were the Borgia popes. There was the Inquisition. There were the crusades. There was religious-based persecution of the natives of the Americas. There were a lot of legal and extralegal executions of scientists in the last two thousand years. I never caught the part where religion became trustworthy in any matter whatsoever. A very bloody history followed by denials and requests that we forget does not constitute a reformed church.

Tom K

I also thank the Kansas City Star for publishing another letter that attacks wrong-headed religious beliefs.

bmmg39

"The politicians who pander to the religious right on this issue disgust and infuriate me."

Which is it, kiddies? Are those of you who support destroying embryonic human beings in the "overwhelming majority," or are politicians who oppose it "pandering"? Neither of these is necessarily true, but they certainly BOTH can't be true. If you're going to pander, it would be to the majority, get it?

And, again, you don't need to be part of the "religious right" (or even religious at all) to oppose the killing of human beings for medical research.

Engineer

DRD
One source is from amniotic fluids, another is as set out in Mark's link "Scientists have been able to reprogram human skin cells to behave like embryonic stem cells. (Reuters, Nov 20th, 2007, Scientists, Ethicists, Welcome Stem Cell Discovery)". So why embryonic stem cells?

CRD

"As there are alternatives which will serve all the purposes and uses anticipated from embryonic stem cells, why persist with their use?"

It doesn't appear that there are such alternatives, so I question your underlying premise.

Engineer

b jack
Nothing was said about "dead ends". The question was in essence: As there are alternatives which will serve all the purposes and uses anticipated from embryonic stem cells, why persist with their use? On the other hand, nothing "flames out" as long as there is public money available.

CRD

If it's a dead end, it'll flame out, just like cold fusion.

I'd think that the hysterics of the anti-cure folks would be more fruitfully vented at the fertility clinics that toss out untold numbers of viable embryos.

jack

eng: Come on guy, you know this. If embryonic stem cell research is a dead end, the researchers will dump it. End of problem.

jack

eng: Come on guy, you know this. If embryonic stem cell research is a dead end, the researchers will dump it. End of problem.

Engineer

cooker_fox
Why use embryonic stem cells when cells capable of serving the same purposes and with the same capabilities are available from other sources?

Dan Beyer

And researchers have found that the embryonic line of stem cell research is a failure. That's why they've left it behind in favor of all the advances that cord blood and adult stem cells have provided. Like for example how adult stem cells do exactly what embryonic stem cells were hoped they would but has now been shown they can't.
This was in the news.
Are those researchers and the news outlets that reported this part of the word-wide religious conspiracy to cripple science too?

jack

Once again Mark holds himself up as the "ethical" person against anyone who disagrees with his glorius self. Come on down from your pedestal.

jack

Jonas Salk produced failure after failure right up until he developped a polio vaccine that worked. All basic research produces lots of failures before producing success. That is what makes it "research".

Your pastor is not the one who should be deciding which research should be allowed.

Mark Robertson

It seems obvious that the embryonic stem cell debate is just the latest vehicle to express outrage at the "religious right."
Scientists have been able to reprogram human skin cells to behave like pluripotent embryonic stem cells.(Reuters, Nov 20th, 2007, Scientists, Ethicists, Welcome Stem Cell Discovery)
So even if embryonic stem cell research showed promise, there is now a technique that would allow the same research without destroying human life.
The fact is though, embryonic stem cell research has been a total bust. As Dan points out, about the only result has been tumor formation.
The totally ethical adult stem cell research has been hugely sucdcessful. It has contributed to over 70 cures.
We "kooks" on the "religious right" believe in protecting human life from its earliest to latest stages. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson
Indedpendence

cooker_fox

I am curious Dan if you would consider a letter on transplant surgery an attack on religious beliefs? You do know that it was once considered sacreligious for transplant surgery? (Especially from someone deceased) How about one on holistic cures?

It suspect you only get upset when it is your belief.

Dan Beyer

Why does the Star still keep publishing letters about embryonic stem cell research? Has the Star not heard the news that they don't provide any advances? Have they not heard that adult stem cells do what embryonic cells were hoped to do but couldn't?
I wonder if anyone at the Star has ever really researched this subject at all? Is the Star promoting the idea that politicians should give away massive amounts of taxpayer's money on a tiny sector of research that continues to provide no advances after all this time? Why must this research be propped up by politicians doling out taxpayer's money?
This is insane! This is also very irresponsible of the Star! The Star by keeping this already settled issue alive is purposely misleading it's readers.
You know this reminds me of the quote by the author of "Animal Farm" and "1984", George Orwell: "Early in life I noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper".

Dan Beyer

Thank you KC star for yet again publishing another letter attacking those with religious beliefs. No one including the religious are trying to cripple science.
Were the pharmacuetical companies that saw no advances forthcoming from embryonic stem cells part of the religious conspiracy to cripple science?!
How much longer are you all at the Star going to continue in this ridiculous campaign of misinformation and propaganda?
Embryonic stem cell research has had no advances whatsoever. The only thing that has come of it are mutated tumors.
This is absolutely absurd.

 
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