Friday, October 27, 2006

Stem Cell Research

Since this came up at Atrios this a.m., I will explain further here why it is important that Claire McCaskill be elected in Missouri, where my 8-year-old grandson lives.

St Louis, MO, is the focus of a great deal of children's medical expertise, and the children's hospital there is a center for the treatment of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Timothy, my grandson, has JRA and will never be able to run and play like other kids unless there are breakthroughs in the treatment of the disease. He takes several kinds of medicine, and it is necessary to re-balance medications constantly so that he can fight the pain and crippling in his joints.

The research vital to developing cures to his and other disease is hampered by restrictions that the present recidivists in the WH have put on the methods they can try. The general attitude of this WH toward science also discourages the kind of scientists who are bold and will dare to try out methods that are new and unique. Needless to say, our medical community is deteriorating under the administration and research scientists are particularly draining away to more civilized countries.

Sen. Talent has declared that his pro-life stance militates that he oppose the use of stem cells which could be used to create life. Of course, the frozen embryos that are discarded when they are not wanted, to everyone's knowledge, do not become living babies, they become dead matter. Only by utmost cynicism can anyone bar the use for research of potential waste material. There are rare instances when a couple that has surplus embryos, having achieved success with one, will allow other embryos to be donated to another, childless, couple, to be carried full term - the 'snowflake' child. No one is proposing to take those embryos. It is only the excess, unused, embryos that are destined for destruction that would be utilized to create stem cells for research into treatment of illnesses.

Incidentally, every fertile woman loses eggs monthly throughout her life, some fertilized, some not. I have myself lost an embryo at three months, it is not at all uncommon, but I don't confuse an unsuccessful pregnancy with a living child.

I would like to ask anyone who lives in Missouri, or who has friends or family in Missouri, to think about making life better for living, really precious, children and adults. Vote for forward looking, straight talking and intelligent, advocates of science - not the ignorant politically motivated obstructionist element that tries to present its putting obstacles in the path of good people as a respect for life. If they truly wanted more children, they could adopt any number, but of course, those would not be likely to be the billboard type with big blue eyes and pink cheeks. And if they wanted more people to carry pregnancies to term, they would surely work very hard to give working people a living wage, so they could afford those children.

I appreciate your helping out Timothy. Sorry, I don't happen to have a picture, but he has big, dark eyes and wavy dark hair, and a big, sweet smile. That is, he has a great big smile when he's not in pain.

from Ruth


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