Kicking Sand in the Face of Hope
Jim Walsh made his return to the world of blogging (if you can call it that) yesterday, only to kick sand in the face of the over 100 million whose lives could be improved by stem cell research:
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have had the responsibility for casting votes on important issues on behalf of my constituents and my state. As an example of an important issue, I recently voted to sustain the President's veto of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. I do not support the use of federal taxpayer dollars to fund the creation of new embryonic stem cell research lines.
Well atleast Jim remembers he has that responsibility, but he doesn't seem to know who his constituents are. Anyways, rather than refute Walsh's claims myself, I called upon his Republican colleagues to do it for me.
Serious moral and ethical questions arise regarding the use of living embryos.
Jim Kolbe (R-AZ):
When the House considered this bill last year, our debate focused on the ethical dilemmas of embryonic stem cell research. Those dilemmas are real, and they've been thoroughly addressed in the bill we passed.
The sooner we pass this bill into law, the sooner America becomes the hub for this research, the sooner our ethical standards become the de facto standards governing stem cell science around the world.
So Castle-DeGette isn't just about taking the scientific lead on embryonic stem cells, it is about taking the moral lead, setting an ethical standard for research that will take place whether this bill becomes law or not.
Furthermore, there is a lack of true consensus within the medical community that the use of embryonic stem cell lines yields greater promise than their adult counterparts.
Joe Schwarz (R-MI):
As a physician, I am dismayed at the claims that adult stem cells and umbilical cord cells hold the true pluripotentiality of embryonic stem cells. This is simply not true.
The reality, however, is that the American biotechnology industry is skeptical to invest significant amounts of its own private capital into this research as its practical and clinical usefulness remains questionable. Why, then, should we allow the controversial use of public federal funds to do so?
Nancy Johnson (R-CT):
But as we push forward, that research will not be covered and guided by the ethical code developed by NIH. As we push forward, millions of dollars will be wasted on building a parallel infrastructure of expensive equipment so the State and Federal dollars and the private and Federal dollars can be kept separate.
Embryos utilized and eventually destroyed through stem cell research represent a human life.
Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL):
The bill brings forth hope from embryos that would otherwise be discarded, thrown in the trash. These are embryos that can be used for good and for substantial medical research.
Effective medical science must be ethical medical science. Once the line is crossed of destroying one life to enhance another, we're on a very slippery ethical slope. After all, we all began life as a small, simple collection of cells.
Tom Davis (R-VA):
There is no question that many difficult questions attend this debate, and many feel strongly that there are ethical reasons not to pursue embryonic stem cell research. But I strongly feel there are ethical reasons why we should. I cannot look at a couple whose child is suffering from a debilitating disease in the eye and tell them I am not doing everything as their elected official; I came to find a cure. I cannot look a researcher in the eyes and tell him I will not let him explore the promise.
You can find all this in the Congressional Record, just scroll down to #49.