After President Reagan passed away, advocates of embryonic stem cell research piggybacked their message onto his death, saying that such research could benefit others who suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer's.
However, Michael Reagan, a board member of the John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation in California, said his father would have opposed the research and paying for it with taxpayer funds. He accused the media of making it seem that wasn't the case.
"The media continues to report that the Reagan 'family' is in favor of [embryonic] stem cell research, when the truth is that two members of the family have been long time foes of this process of manufacturing human beings -- my dad, Ronald Reagan during his lifetime, and I," Michael Reagan wrote in an editorial ("I'm With My Dad on Stem-Cell Research" July 30, 2004).
"Moreover, using the widely promoted and thoroughly discredited argument that stem cell research can lead to a cure of Alzheimer's disease, the media and proponents of stem cell research have suggested that had the research been done a long time ago, my dad might have avoided the ordeal he endured," Michael Reagan explained. "This is junk science at its worst."
On a related note, here is an excellent article I discovered today on the stem cell cover-up by Michael Fumento, author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology Is Changing Our World, in which he discusses the numerous and phenomenal advances in adult stem-cell research and application:
- More than 30 anticancer uses for stem cells have been tested on humans, with many already in routine therapeutical use.
- By some accounts, the area in which stem-cell applications are moving fastest is autoimmune disease, in which the body's own protective system turns on itself. Diseases for which stem cells currently are being tested on humans include diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Evans syndrome, rheumatic disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), among many others.
- Just last February, two different human-autopsy studies demonstrated that stem cells transfused into the marrow work their way into the brain, where they can repair neurons and other vital cells. Other studies have shown that when injected into animals with severed spinal cords, stem cells rush to the injury site effecting repairs. "I think the stem cells may act as a repair squad," says the leader of one of the two studies, Helen Blau of the Stanford University Brain Research Institute. "They travel through the bloodstream, respond to stress, and contribute to brain cells. They clearly repair damage in muscle and other tissues."
At a conference in late 2002, French researchers reported that during the last 14 years they had performed 69 stem-cell transplants with an 85 percent disease-free survival rate. Since improving their procedure in 1992, all 30 of the last transplants have been successful.
- Stem cells have been injected into damaged hearts and become functional muscle. This destroyed the dogma that heart muscle cannot be repaired, just as stem-cell research also wrecked the firmly held belief that brain tissue cannot regenerate.
Why such gains has been persistently and deliberately neglected in favor of the current ethical controversy over embroyonic stem-cells? -- Mr. Fumento responds:
Read the article, judge for yourself, and let's hope that more citizens will challenge Ron Reagan and Senator Kerry on their endorsement of embryonic stem cell research as a 'cure-all.'
[Originally posted to CatholicKerryWatch 8/14/04].
- "Cynical and Cruel" - Michael Fumento's original analysis of Ron Reagan's convention pitch for embryonic stem-cell research.
- "Out of Touch", by Michael Fumento. Citizen Magazine August 2004. "Currently, no medical therapies involve ESCs, nor is there a single human trial using them. Indeed, very few have even made it to animal testing. Yet ASCs have been routinely used to treat human disease since the 1980s . . ."
- Stem-Cell Defection, by Ramesh Ponnuru. National Review August 16, 2004. "The meeting with [Indiana Congressman] Mark Souder did not go exactly as planned. They didn't persuade Souder to support the funding [for embroyonic stem-cell research]. Instead, he persuaded them to oppose it."
- The Wrong Tree: Embryonic stem cells are not all that, by Wesley J. Smith. (NRO May 13, 2004).