I doubt its any surprise that i support stem cell research. For me, there’s really not much of a question. As you can see below, there are 71 known diseases that may be treated or cured through stem cell research. Many of these ailments affect people i know and love. How can you argue with allowing someone you love to live and to live without unnecessary pain?
Then there is the animal lib perspective.
For a specific example, one of the diseases on the list is HIV/AIDS. Numerous chimpanzees and other primates have been and continue to be injected with HIV, then killed in a failed attempt to find a cure. Thing is, chimps can’t get HIV (hello, its the HUMAN immunodeficiency virus). So why are we killing so many animals to find a cure for a disease they can’t get? Well, there’s a lot of money and academic prestige in animal testing (even if you fail), but that’s another topic. (editor’s note: see comments. thanks again, RonF) Surprise, surprise, the most effective research methods are also the most humane. No one has to die in the name of stem cell research.
Yet for years, stem cell research has been attacked and its development hindered. On January 11, however, the House will vote on HR3, possibly overturning the hindrances. Because it is suspected that Bush will veto the bill if passed, StemPAC is asking people to contact their representatives to push for a two-thirds majority.
Here is StemPAC’s 71 Reasons to Support Stem Cell Research:
Discussions about stem cell research are often very scientific, but it’s important to keep our eye on the prize. Ultimately, this isn’t about blastocysts, or somatic nuclear transfer, e=mc2, dilithium crystals, etc., etc., etc., — it’s about cures. The “pro stem cell” movement is first and foremost a “pro cures” movement.
Here are 71 diseases and injuries that may be treated or cured by stem cell research. First, a caveat — this research is still in its early stages, and we’re not saying that cures are here today, or will be here next week. But we are saying this — with stem cell research, we will almost certainly get these cures and treatments sooner — a lot sooner. It’s not a promise of a cure, but it is a promise of one key thing — more hope. A lot more hope.
Okay, so here’s the list.
Autoimmune Diseases/ Musculoskeletal/ Connective Tissue Disorders
Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Devic’s Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus), Systemic Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes
Bladder/Kidney, Brain/Central Nervous System, Breast, Colon/Lower Bowel, Endometrium/Cervix/Ovary, Esophagus, Leukemia, Liver, Lungs/Respiratory System, Lymphoma, Myeloma, Pancreas, Prostate, Skin, Stomach
Acute Ischemic Heart Disease (angina), Myocardial Infarction (heart attack), Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease (athersclerotic heart disease), Cardiomyopathy Cerebrovascular Disease (stroke)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Pulmonary Fibrosis
Severe Burns, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Spinal Cord Injury
Macular Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa
Adrenoleukodystrophy, Aspartylglycosaminuria, Canavan’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Fabry Disease, Fucosidosis, Gaucher Disease, Leukodystrophy, Mucopolysaccharidoses, Niemann-Pick Disease, Pompe Disease, Porphyria, Sickle Cell Disease, Tay-Sachs Disease, Type 2 Diabetes
Becker, Duchenne, Emery Dreifuss, Facioscapulohumeral, Fukuyama, Limb Girdle, Myasthenia Gravis, Myotonic Dystrophy
Neurological Diseases of Adulthood
Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), Parkinson’s Disease
Neurological Diseases of Childhood
Asperger Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, Hydrocephalus, Rett Syndrome
Source: Yes on 71 – Californians for Stem Cell Research & Cures, 2004.
(NOTE: This is NOT an exhaustive scientific accounting of all potential target diseases but, rather, intended as a guide for the lay-public to use in their advocacy efforts)
*note: i am of the school of thought that some of the “diseases” on this list don’t need to be or shouldn’t be viewed as such (Autism, Down Syndrome, etc). And i do not support the forced “curing” of anyone. I have worked with children with autism and down syndrome and they were perfectly happy children. I believe we often view that which is different from ourselves as a disease, and proceed to view the “diseased” persyn as undesirable or flawed. Yet those who consent to relieving their own dis-eases deserve our full support. I do not wish to digress from the topic at hand, but merely wanted to add a clarifying note.