Stemming Pundits and Panderers
You know, for years I've been listening to people attack George Bush et al for not supporting stem cell research. And all the while --although I fully support such RESEARCH -- I've also been disgusted at the techniques used to promote stem cell research; namely, falsely aggrandizing what is known or can be done with stem cells right now
Like the following from By Arthur Caplan, Ph.D. -- who gets his medical expertise by doctoring in the philosophy and history of science (translated: don't go to him with your sore bunions):
An administration that has shown itself over and over again to have trouble telling the truth is now telling Americans in wheelchairs, those with damaged hearts, babies who are diabetic and those left immobile by Parkinsonism not to worry. The president, whose grasp of science left him unable to identify creationism as a fundamentally religious idea, and his trusty sidekick Karl Rove, rarely seen in a white lab coat but who knows something about rats, having been in Washington forsome time now, claim to know best which medical researc Is most likely to benefit diseased Americans in the future. (boldface mine)
There are thousands of examples like the above in the news of that day. And diabetic children -- among other tools --were paraded in front of Congress begging for stem cells to cure themselves. I had friends and mothers of friends -- some quite well educated -- calling me asking if a cure for arthritis or ataxia or retinoblastoma was in the offing, just as soon as that idiot demon Bush and his cronies got their fists out of their noses...
Well here's a story on the AP today about a desperate family who went to Israel to have a desperate thing done -- an injection of stem sells:
Report: Fetal stem cells trigger tumors in ill boy
By LAURAN NEERGAARD – 13 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — A family desperate to save a child from a lethal brain disease sought highly experimental injections of fetal stem cells — injections that triggered tumors in the boy's brain and spinal cord, Israeli scientists reported Tuesday.
Read it all here
Stem cell research offers great promise and should be pursued at all speed; but to make irresponsible claims about the current use or potential of this research, especially while conjuring up hope for those immediately ill as a spectre to beat down, hijack, blackmail, or man-up your political or philosophical hobgoblins is dishonest, ignorant, and...well, I guess we should say now, dangerous. Nay, criminal.