Obama to reverse embryonic stem cell ban

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Postby Waken » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:00 pm

scorpion wrote:I would expect if there is a "cure"using embryonic stem cells those who are opposed to it on moral grounds would not accept the treatment. Anyone care to respond????


Long time surfer who has only posted here once. DX'd 7 years ago with first symptoms going back some 19 years. I'm currently on a CRAB drug.

I have thought about this situation seriously and I decied I would not undertake the treatment if it requred the use of embryonic stem cells. Stupid, maybe. If stem cells are the answer I would hope the "cure" could be accomplished via other sources of stem cells.
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Postby robbie » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:35 am

I would not undertake the treatment if it requred the use of embryonic stem cells.

i know some people have reasons not to, can you explain them
Had ms for over 19 years now.
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Postby wilson » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:52 am

robbie wrote:
I would not undertake the treatment if it requred the use of embryonic stem cells.

i know some people have reasons not to, can you explain them


Again, some may not agree with this. And, some may reply with contempt and great disrespect. But here is why many may disagree with embryonic stem cell research. In order to keep it short and respectful, I will try to answer your query with an analogy.

One day during a snowstorm , you decided to walk over a highway overpass. As you are crossing the bridge, you chip off some of the ice off the girders just to see it fall and shatter onto the pavement. One particularly big ice chunk you kick loose, falls on top of a car passing underneath and goes through the windshield killing the driver.

As you are standing before the judge, he says "you are charge with manslaughter." You state "I didn't mean to kill the driver. I didn't realize a car was coming."

The question to you is: regardless of your intention, did you still kill the driver? Are you still guilty of a crime? Do you think the judge would say "oh well, since you didn't do it on purpose, all charges are drop and you are free to go."?
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Postby robbie » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:05 am

thanks wilson, i'm still undecided. so with embryonic stem cells you are killing a possible baby if you use them?
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Postby msmything » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:08 am

The science never stopped, it hardly even slowed. The ban did not exist elsewhere in the world.

Very good things have come from the ban on uses of embryonic stem cells in the US.
In this case science had far outstripped the ability of a society to regulate it. Since there are still 3rd world women being sold into sex slavery, I do not believe that some creepy entrepreneur would not have made a profit on unborn children of women who have no voices.

Science has used the time of the ban to do more research, and can now make stem cells from adult sources. Even your own.
The process uses autologis stem cells(your own) and they make them behave like the embryonic.
It's safer that way for the person whose body both donates and receives
the therapy.
Would science have gotten there? maybe, but I imagine not so quickly.
Rant over, sorry
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Postby chrishasms » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:41 am

I agree. There are so many ways to get stem cells from stomach fat, to umbilical cords, to marrow.

The only thing I ask about embryonic stem cells is this: If people are going to have 10 embryo's made for invitro , only use 2 of them, why on earth would it be a good idea to let those other 8 unused embryo's die?

Remember, some people will not give their embryo's to someone else.

So now to use an analogy...You are at an unemployment office with 10 people who are a team who is qualified for a job. 2 of those get the job but the other 8 are not wanted. Should those other 8 not pursue any other jobs?
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Good analogy, Wilson

Postby lyndacarol » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:59 am

Thank you for a good analogy, Wilson.

In addition, I believe researchers in the past have jumped on the "hypothesis of the day," only to discover much later that it was a dead end. Valuable time and money were misspent (This preoccupation with automunity and interferons is a prime example, in my opinion.). As you know, I think the basic problem lies in endocrinology (excess insulin); I worry that research dollars will be diluted and a potentially successful avenue will be neglected. Money is not increased or added to for new avenues--the pot is simply divided among more players (resulting in less for each one).
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Postby cheerleader » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:29 am

msmything wrote:The science never stopped, it hardly even slowed. The ban did not exist elsewhere in the world.Science has used the time of the ban to do more research, and can now make stem cells from adult sources. Even your own. The process uses autologis stem cells(your own) and they make them behave like the embryonic. It's safer that way for the person whose body both donates and receives
the therapy.


That was also my point earlier MS. I have complete respect for those who consider an embryo a human life. There are a few folks on the board who have expressed their personal beliefs. I would never deride anyone for their faith. But we must keep religion and science separate. Galileo was right.

I do see the irony in the fact that this ban lead scientists to develop autologous mesenchymal therapies. But if there is a cure to be found in embryonic stem cells, my husband may personally choose not to accept it, but he would never, ever stand in the way of anyone else's right to that cure.

Just as I would never personally have an abortion, it is not my right to tell another woman what to do. Morality should not be legislated. I'm thrilled the ban has been lifted. That said, as persons of faith, we might not partake of this cure...hope that makes sense?
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Postby marcstck » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:50 am

I copied this from my blog, www.wheelchairkamikaze.com. I wrote and posted it last night...

Obama to Lift Embryonic Stem Cell Funding Ban

This Monday, President Obama will lift the nearly 8-year-old ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

It's about time. He should have done this on the afternoon he was inaugurated.

Of course, he's had a few other problems to deal with, such as The Great Recession, two wars, and trying to decide what kind of puppy to get, but let's face it, I have a vested interest here.

Quite simply, stem cell therapy offers my best, and, quite possibly, last hope at beating back this fracking disease. I don't expect that stem cells will ever cure MS (but then again who the hell knows, since no one knows what causes MS, so whatever it is, maybe stem cells will cure it), but they very likely will help repair some of the havoc wrought by the disease on MS damaged nervous systems, which for now is good enough for me.

I realize many people are morally opposed to embryonic stem cell research because they believe the destruction of a human embryo is tantamount to the taking of a human life. Quite frankly, if the embryos were five-month-old fetuses, I might agree with them. But the embryos in question here are zygotes, clumps of at most a few dozen cells. In order to be useful for stem cell research, these cells cannot have differentiated into specific types of tissue, such as bone, cardiac, skin, or nerve. In other words, these zygotes bear as much commonality to a human being as a clump of iron ore has to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The "embryos" in question are smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. Most of them are the byproducts of in vitro fertilization, and would literally be thrown away if they weren't used for research. Not using them to advance the cause of medicine and help put an end to scores of horrendous maladies would seem to me to be the greater sin, if sin is the question here.

Furthermore, in an age where cloning has become an everyday reality, any living cell holds within it the potential of becoming a fully formed life. Every time I scratch myself or pick my nose, I'm destroying thousands of such cells. Should those acts be prohibited as well?

Adult stem cell research also holds much promise, as is endlessly pointed out by embryonic stem cell foes. Most serious research scientists, though, say that embryonic stem cells hold by far the greater potential to do good. There are myriad problems yet to be overcome in using them, but all we've so far succeeded in doing is wasting the better part of a decade in learning how to solve these problems.

So get to signing whatever it is you need to sign, Mr. Obama. Time's a wasting, as are my nerve cells and my ability to move my muscles. This isn't an exercise in theoretical morality. There are people dying out here, so let's stop fucking around and just get on with it.
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Postby msmything » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:54 pm

I'll say again, embryonic stem cell research has never been banned, ever.
People are speaking in CNN sound bites here..
The 'restriction' on embryonic stem cell research simply was that every Ton Dick and harry, has to prove where the cells came from as there was a carefully monitored and identifyable number of embryo genotypes available. IN THE UNITED STATES
Don't you think that if someone in the world came up with a stem cell transplnt that was sure to work, that thousands of US citizens would be racing off to that country???
The use of the stem cells, no matter where they came from, has all along been a life threatenting procedure, and will continue to be so.
As dysfunctional our immune systems are we still need them, and they are destroyed by chemotherapy in the process. It takes months for them to begin to work again, then you wait to see if the stem cells worked.
There are people doing the procedure right here in Chicagoland, I work with someone that had it done.
She was an ideal candidate (I don't know the criteria) her son was not..he' died shortly after receiving the transplant.
AS an aside the Dr. who is doing these here is not a neurologist, or even and MD, he's a biologist.
Granted the man's a genius, BUT, big BUT he works at Northwestern University Hospital. A huge prestigiious place.If they had a "cure" for MS don't you think we might have heard about it????
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Postby wilson » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:38 pm

robbie wrote:thanks wilson, i'm still undecided. so with embryonic stem cells you are killing a possible baby if you use them?


Robbie, are you asking when life begins? I can safely state that not one human being on this planet holds the facts to this answer. However, I know that some of us BELIEVE that life begins at conception and they based their opinion on religious text. So, does that mean it is safe to dismiss embryos as nothing more that a bunch of ordered, grouping of cells if you don't believe? What is your thought on this?
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Postby marcstck » Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:46 pm

msmything wrote:I'll say again, embryonic stem cell research has never been banned, ever.
People are speaking in CNN sound bites here..
The 'restriction' on embryonic stem cell research simply was that every Ton Dick and harry, has to prove where the cells came from as there was a carefully monitored and identifyable number of embryo genotypes available. IN THE UNITED STATES
Don't you think that if someone in the world came up with a stem cell transplnt that was sure to work, that thousands of US citizens would be racing off to that country???
The use of the stem cells, no matter where they came from, has all along been a life threatenting procedure, and will continue to be so.
As dysfunctional our immune systems are we still need them, and they are destroyed by chemotherapy in the process. It takes months for them to begin to work again, then you wait to see if the stem cells worked.
There are people doing the procedure right here in Chicagoland, I work with someone that had it done.
She was an ideal candidate (I don't know the criteria) her son was not..he' died shortly after receiving the transplant.
AS an aside the Dr. who is doing these here is not a neurologist, or even and MD, he's a biologist.
Granted the man's a genius, BUT, big BUT he works at Northwestern University Hospital. A huge prestigiious place.If they had a "cure" for MS don't you think we might have heard about it????


I'm sorry, but you're seriously misinformed. Fox news will do that to you...

Bush banned all federal funding for stem cell research that didn't involve the use of already existing stem cell lines. Unfortunately, most of those lines had been compromised or contaminated by the time Bush issued his edict.

The ban stated that no facility that had any federally funded equipment could participate in embryonic stem cell research. This meant that a facility that had a microscope, centrifuge, stethoscope, or even test tube, that had been purchased with federal grant money at any time in the past could start an ESC research project, even if privately that project were funded. It basically mandated that a facility be built from the ground up with private money in order to undertake such research, which would have been obscenely expensive, and thus Bush's ban on federal funding effectively ended all embryonic stem cell research in the United States of America.

As for your take on what stem cell therapy involves, again, you're a bit confused. The treatment that requires the ablation of a patient's immune system is known as ASCT (autologous stem cell treatment) and has been used in trials for almost a decade now. It's also been used to treat leukemia patients for well over a decade. In this process, a patient's own stem cells, derived from their own bone marrow, is used to reboot the patient's immune system after it has been eradicated through the administration of powerful chemotherapy agents.

Therapies involving embryonic stem cells, or umbilical cord stem cells, or many types of adult stem cells, take an entirely different approach. In theory (a theory which has been tested successfully in animal trials), these cells would actually repair damaged nervous system tissue, and not address the immune system whatsoever. This is the holy grail of stem cell research, and cell repair and regeneration. In this kind of therapy, a patient's immune system would be left entirely intact.

There already human applications in which stem cells are being used to this effect, most notably in treating cardiac patients whose hearts are actually repaired through the use of stem cells.

The only commonality between the procedure you refer to, and the stem cell therapies being researched using a whole array of different types of stem cells, are that stem cells are part of the process. The type of therapy being done in Chicago attempts to reboot a faulty immune system. The regenerative stem cell research under way worldwide attempts to fix damaged body systems through the use of stem cells. They are two entirely different approaches, seeking to address disease in completely different ways...
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Postby marcstck » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:01 pm

wilson wrote:
robbie wrote:thanks wilson, i'm still undecided. so with embryonic stem cells you are killing a possible baby if you use them?


Robbie, are you asking when life begins? I can safely state that not one human being on this planet holds the facts to this answer. However, I know that some of us BELIEVE that life begins at conception and they based their opinion on religious text. So, does that mean it is safe to dismiss embryos as nothing more that a bunch of ordered, grouping of cells if you don't believe? What is your thought on this?


Simply because you believe in something doesn't give you the right to legislate those beliefs into laws that bind those that do not share your faith.

Show me five different religions, and I'll show you five different ideas as to when life begins. If you choose to believe that life begins at the very moment a sperm penetrates an egg, more power to you. You have every right to hold that belief, just as I have every right to believe you're absolutely wrong. I have neither the desire nor inclination to force you to undergo a procedure which you believe is morally corrupt. By the same token, though, you have no right to tell me that I can't research or partake in a potentially life-saving procedure about which I have absolutely no moral qualms.

Legislation and government based on belief rather than fact is allegedly why we hold the Taliban in such high contempt. They believe, with as much fervor as you hold your beliefs about "life", that a woman should be killed for speaking out of turn. They can defend this belief by quoting at least as much Scripture as you can in defending yours. Does that then, make it correct to execute a "wayward" woman? This is the very reason that the separation of church and state was written into the U.S. Constitution. Questions of belief and faith should be left out of the governing process.
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Postby cheerleader » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:23 pm

Great job, Mark. Appreciate your opinion. Hope folks understand.
We can't legislate morality.
Our personal beliefs cannot deny others their rights. I may personally disagree with invitro fertilizaton, abortion, embryonic stemcells and euthanasia ...that's my right.
But it's not my right to deny these to anyone else. Or to judge anyone else in their personal and private choice.
We now have a president who is unafraid of science, and unafraid of individual rights.
A true peacemaker.
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Postby wilson » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:38 pm

cheerleader wrote:Great job, Mark. Appreciate your opinion. Hope folks understand.
We can't legislate morality.
Our personal beliefs cannot deny others their rights. I may personally disagree with invitro fertilizaton, abortion, embryonic stemcells and euthanasia ...that's my right.
But it's not my right to deny these to anyone else. Or to judge anyone else in their personal and private choice.
We now have a president who is unafraid of science, and unafraid of individual rights.
A true peacemaker.
AC


Excuse me, but your statements are blatantly false. In America, I have the absolute right to vote my conscious, regardless of what your opinion is. The U.S. may be headed for socialism or something else. But the Bill of Rights are still in play here. And, I STILL have a right to vote the way I feel, not the way YOU feel.

Also, just about all law is based on morality so give me nonsense about not legislating morality.

You need to go back to school for some simple Civics lessons.
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