As usual, Sam Brownback is correct on issues of life. He has an op-ed in today’s USA Today: Washington should limit research funding to adult stem cells only.
Last year I met a courageous young woman, Jacki Rabon of Illinois, who was paralyzed in a car accident at age 16. Today, thanks to an ethical adult stem cell treatment that she received in Portugal, Jacki is regaining feeling in her legs and can walk with the aid of braces and a walker.
How inspirational. Go Jacki, go.
This week, the Senate will debate a bill that would provide taxpayer funding for a different type of stem cell research from the type that is helping Jacki and scores of other patients. The Senate will vote on whether to fund embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of human embryos. We all started as an embryo, and biologically, the human embryo is no less human than you or I.
Absolutely. Bring it on home:
Two issues are at stake:
First, should we treat the young human as a person or as a piece of property? Will the federal government maintain high ethical standards in research, or will we sanction the destruction of young human lives to further speculative research that might or might not eventually help patients?
The correct answers are no and no.
Second, should we fund the research that holds the most promise to bring treatments to patients soonest, or should we fund speculative and unethical research, the benefits of which are unclear and may never come?
For the sake of the patients, we should fund adult stem cell research to the exclusion of unethical embryonic stem cell research. Jacki should not have to travel to Portugal, at great personal expense, for a treatment with her own adult stem cells. And she is not the only patient who has had no choice but to travel around the world for an adult stem cell treatment.
This is unacceptable. America should aim to become the premier nation for good ethical adult stem cell treatments rather than chasing after “cures” via useless and immoral embryonic research.
We know of 72 peer-reviewed adult stem cell treatments and applications for a wide range of diseases and injuries. Yet embryonic stem cell research has not yielded any treatments or applications to date.
None whatsoever. But people are still salivating at the thought of destroying embryos for Frankenstein research that so far yields nothing but destruction. When we destroy embryos we destroy ourselves.
Patients should have the peace of mind that their treatment did not come at the expense of another’s destruction, and they should not have to travel around the world to seek help. I urge my Senate colleagues to reject the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act and taxpayer funding for human embryonic stem cell research.
Now that really hits the nail on the head. How can a person of faith, a pro-life person, feel right about accepting potential future treatments that came at the cost of human life? It would be like putting human flesh in food to get people over the taboo of cannibalism. It’s an effort to destroy faith and cheapen the value of life, bestowed upon us by G-d Himself.
Hat Tip: The UmBlog: unwanted embryos, unwanted people.
Update: An interesting take by Polistra’s Mill: Brownback on stem cells.
Sen. Brownback is speaking right now on the Senate floor, making a point I’ve hit here before: Nearly all of the productive research on adult stem-cells is happening outside the US. Is this because of Federal limitations? No, because there are NO limitations at all on adult stem cells.
Update: Hilzoy over at Obsidian Wings attempts a takedown of Sam Brownback’s editorial: We Take Requests! (Sam Brownback Edition). I think it falls flat. Judge for yourself.