Death to embryos in Massachusetts! All for the common good!
Last week, Gov. Deval Patrick succeeded in stocking a key panel at the state Department of Public Health, which removed restrictions on embryonic stem cell research in the state. The restrictions, put in place by
Patrick’s successor, Mitt Romney, were ambiguous in their legality in any case. The Legislature had already passed a law legalizing the work, and the regulations only “created an uncertain regulatory environment for those engaged in stem cell research.”
While the proposal has been submitted to the Public Health Council and won’t have an official vote until late summer, the change is virtually guaranteed.
The Boston Globe story has the usual half-truths you find in almost all stories about stem cell research.
Embryonic stem cells have the capacity to become any cell in the body, and scientists predict the research could lead to insights into diseases and, potentially, to treatments. The research has provoked opposition from antiabortion groups because current methods of obtaining stem cells require destruction of embryos.
They completely ignore research on morally acceptable adult stem cells, which is never brought up in such discussions and leave the reader to assume that the only way to get stem cells—and thus cures to deadly diseases—is to kill embryonic unborn children. I like the “current methods” nonsense, too. That’s like saying that current methods of obtaining steak require the destruction of bovine animals. I’m sure some science fiction author has come up with some imaginary method for assembling steak from a vat full of assorted molecules, but that doesn’t make it any more viable.
Adult and cord-blood stem cell research is both moral and successful, having resulted in several treatment protocols. And embryonic stem cell research, for all the billions spent and vast promises, have resulted in exactly zero.