Saturday, February 25, 2006

Embryonic Stem Cells And The Wounded Warrior

I have to wonder, just how wounded American soldiers feel, particularly those sufferring from paralysis, when they hear George Bush obstinantly declare that “respect for all human life” extends to the embryonic stage, and so precludes the “destuctiom” of stem cells for the purpose of harvesting them for research. Despite the fact that the very research being limited by the denial of federal funds is the very thing that might bring about a cure for paralysis, or for any number of injuries sufferred by the American soldiers George Bush proclaims to have such love and respect for. There is even the possibility that stem cell research might actually lead to the growing of limbs that might replace those that have been lost. Could an American soldier, say for example one totally bereft of arms and legs, and possibly paralyzed to boot, not consider this position and feel anything but dismay and anger?

This is a subject, and an angle, that has been seemingly skirted even by the Left. Possibly out of respet for the soldiers, or perhaps in some cases American soldiers are seen by a good many of them as brutal and willing partners in crime of the Bush Administration-so they deserve what they get.

Whatever the case, I think it is appalling that these veterans are denied the opportunity for treatment and hope for recovery that may turn out to be only possible by the utilization of this pioneer scientific technique. Especially when you consider that most of these stem cells are either destined to be destroyed, or will in time become worthless. Freezing them, after all, only saves them for so long, as with anything else, they will die, become worthless. Freezing them only slows down the process, it doesn’t prevent it.

Lately, the opponents of stem cell research have taken to airing commercials which features a wheel chair bound woman, who may so far as I know be nothing but an actress. I have never seen her name, and know nothing of her history, as to how she became dissabled. She asserts that, while of course she would like to have a cure, she would not like this to come at the cost of the destruction of innocent life-i.e., embryonic stem cells. There has been reseach into other areas of stem cells, adult stem cells for example, that have offerred grea thope of finding eventual cures, while embryonic stem cell research has produced not a single one.

With all due respect to this lady and her private health issues-whatever they are-that’s easy for her to say. I’m sure she was well paid for her participation in this bit of disingenous propoganda, and I have no doubt she is well cared for, both in terms of medical care and the bills for such, if indeed that was ever necessary in her case. Put it this way, if she was in debt before, I doubt she is now.

Regardless, it is not for her to speak for anybody but herself. Certainly, she has no say as to the moral obligation of Bush and his supporters insofar as what they owe to the members of the American military, nor for that matter does anybody else, especially for those who have sacrificed whateever hopes they ever had of living a normal and healthy life, for the sake of the Neo-Con dream turned to nightmare, and resulting in all too many private hells.

The Bush and conservative Republican position on this issue is arrogant beyond belief.