Letter published on stem cell editorial

Letter published on stem cell editorial

By the by, I forgot to mention that on Thursday the Boston Herald published my letter to the editor taking them to task for their muddled editorial on ethical stem cell research. The letter’s not online, but it was essentially what I said here. They edited the letter of course. I’ll show additions in {} brackets and removals with strikethroughs.

Your editorial

on "Stem cell breakthrough" on Tuesday, August 23,

{("Stem cell breakthrough," Aug. 23)} shows either willful ignorance or dishonesty in your assessment of the proposed Oocyte Assisted Reprogramming


method of stem cell creation versus the harvesting of embryonic stem cells from unborn children.

You quote a Harvard researcher as saying that the technology is not ready, that it is the first step down a long road. And then you ask whether a Parkinson’s or spinal cord injury patient should be asked to wait 10 years for a treatment. This implies that a treatment using current embryonic stem cell research


is only just around the corner if only the federal government would fund the research (never mind the billions already being spent by private concerns and state governments.)

The fact is that

embryonic stem cell research has not provided

a single

{one} mainstream treatment for any malady and is not likely to do so for years, if ever. But today, cord blood cell and adult stem cell treatments are available for a wide variety of ailments and even more could be developed if it wasn’t for the infatuation with cells ripped from embryos that diverts attention and funding from that research.

The depth of the commitment to questionable research is evident when, after a potentially ethical alternative is proposed, it is pooh-poohed as taking longer to develop (how much longer?) and cast aside without a second thought.

What ever happened to scientific honesty? It’s probably in the same place as bioethics.