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August 26, 2005

Avoiding Ethical Complications in Stem Cell Research

A thanks to Erik Larson for pointing out this latest breakthrough in stem cell research.

A Harvard University advance in generating embryonic stem cells may have the unintended consequence of hindering congressional efforts to lift research restrictions imposed by President Bush four years ago, leaders on both sides of the issue said yesterday as details of the discovery traveled through the scientific and political communities.

The news that Harvard scientists have successfully converted human skin cells into embryonic stem cells -- without using a human egg or new embryo -- is likely to muddle the already complex debate over federal stem cell research policy.

Muddle? How in the world could finding a way to avoid all the ethical complications of embryonic stem cell research be considered muddling? On the contrary, this could help clear up the whole debate once and for all; researches get their embryonic stem cells without killing unborn life. Everybody wins, if this turns out to be a viable option. This is called "muddling"?

This research is still just getting going, but if we concentrated on this rather than something with ethical pitfalls galore, we'd come sooner to the place where all points of view would be satisfied. Isn't that the best solution?

Posted by Doug at August 26, 2005 12:21 PM

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God forbid the issue itself gets blown out of the water! The only muddling going on is the muddling of the muddling of the issue! The MSM has never reported the "stem-cell" issue truthfully, because the issue is more powerful than the truth, because it's used to manipulate people.

Posted by: Matt Feliksa at August 27, 2005 09:47 AM

The only reason the issue remains "muddled" is because the MSM fails to differentiate between embryonic and adult stem cells (and, for that matter, to point out that the ONLY verified therapeutic uses of stem cells have come from adult stem cells).

Explain to the public that 1) not all stem cells are embryonic, and that 2) adult stem cells can be used, and so far have proven to be more useful, and the whole debate would go away.

But then, it's easier to manufacture a news "product" by appealing to the tinderbox-like issues surrounding the use of any term to which "embryonic" is associated.

Posted by: cb at August 27, 2005 03:34 PM