Jul 29 2005

Frist’s Stem Cell Comments Misleading

Published by at 5:44 pm under All General Discussions,Stem Cell Debate

I truly wish the debate on stem cells was an honest one, but even Frist at time used the broader ‘stem cell’ statement interchangeably with the hot button issue of “embryonic stem cell’ research.

And he also mistakenly claimed that embryonic stem cells could cure Altzheimer’s, which nearly all researchers agree probably cannot happen.

And he also grudgingly admitted that embryonic stem cell research is NOT being hindered right now. His claim in his remarks is that the current policies could, overtime, slow advancements. No where does he claim it is happening now or even in the near future.

I have done a few posts on stem cells to help clean up the debate in terms of terminology here, and the fact all the advancements are in adult stem cell research here. And that embryonic stem cell research is grasping for federal money because it is not showing any results and money is flowing to the to the adult cell research, here.

What is truly frustrating is these stories of success with adult stem cells are everywhere and quite numerous. Just refine your google searches a bit and they pop out in droves. For example, here is one from 2 years ago from NRO I just picked at random

Here’s the story, in case you missed it: A man in his mid-50s had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 49. The disease grew progressively, leading to tremors and rigidity in the patient’s right arm. Traditional drug therapy did not help.

Stem cells were harvested from the patient’s brain using a routine brain biopsy procedure. They were cultured and expanded to several million cells. About 20 percent of these matured into dopamine-secreting neurons. In March 1999, the cells were injected into the patient’s brain.

Three months after the procedure, the man’s motor skills had improved by 37 percent and there was an increase in dopamine production of 55.6 percent. One year after the procedure, the patient’s overall Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale had improved by 83 percent — this at a time when he was not taking any other Parkinson’s medication!

That is an astonishing, remarkable success, one that you would have thought would set off blazing headlines and lead stories on the nightly news. Had the treatment been achieved with embryonic stem cells, undoubtedly the newspapers would have screamed loudly enough to be heard. Unfortunately, reportage about the Parkinson’s success story was strangely muted.

When it comes to life and death and dealing with serious illnesses, we cannot allow misleading statements by pols and censorship of news by the media. This is a serious subject about serious illnesses. Why should a Parkinson’s patient be spending time and energy and money pushing for a mythical cure from ‘young humans’ [new term the pro lifers are using, which I like because it is scientifically accurate] simply because the media doesn’t make these other break throughs known.

That is criminal.


Hugh Hewitt seems to be the only one with a comment so far.

Some at Redstate are up in arms and mentions Trey Jones, the embryo who was saved

One response so far

One Response to “Frist’s Stem Cell Comments Misleading”

  1. jademonkey says:

    great posts on this subject AJ. In answer to your last “Why?” … because of the abortion INDUSTRY.