Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Somtimes The Truth Gets In The Way
- "I find it opportunistic to use the death of someone like Christopher Reeve -- I think it is shameful -- in order to mislead the American people. We should be offering people hope, but neither physicians, scientists, public servants or trial lawyers like John Edwards should be offering hype.
It is cruel to people who have disabilities and chronic diseases, and, on top of that, it's dishonest. It's giving false hope to people, and I can tell you as a physician who's treated scores of thousands of patients that you don't give them false hope."
-Bill Frist (R-TN)
October 12, 2004
Remarks made in reference to John Edwards'
comments concerning embryonic stem cell research
Sometimes your words have a way of comming back and biting you in the ass. Today, Senator Bill Frist got bit.
- Stem cells taken from tiny monkey embryos and implanted in the brain reversed some of the Parkinson's symptoms in monkeys used to study the disease, Japanese researchers reported on Monday.
Their study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, supports arguments that stem cells taken from days-old embryos can be used to replace damaged tissues in a range of diseases, experts said.
While I'm sure the people from PETA were pissed about the methodology employed for this research, the outcome is clearly more than "false hope." This is early research that could be developed further and improved upon with the proper research. However, research requires money and our government isn't willing to offer up any for this. So to all of you that might be able to benefit from something like this, "too bad, so sad." Our government appreciates your tax dollars but you're on your own. It's been nice knowing you.
What I think is truly sad about the conservative's opposition to this research is that they could be confining people to a needless death. Twenty years from now we may have the ability to cure these diseases like Parkinson's if the government would provide the necessary funding for this research. However, the conservative's reluctance to move forward on this has confined us to a future threatened by the same diseases we are facing right now. This is not the American way of doing things. We are a nation of invention. We are a nation of ingenuity. What if we had applied this same attitude to our other endeavors? Where would we be? Science and medicine would be primitive at best. We'd be stuck in the 1800s.
The true American way would be to break new ground and research this field in the hopes of finding new cures and leading the rest of the world into the new frontier of medicine. Too bad we don't do things like that anymore.
Sidenote: Bill Frist originally supported stem cell research back in 2001.
- Q: What is the effect of Frist's announcement of his support for the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research?
A: Frist's announcement Wednesday in support of federal funding for embryonic stem cell studies will have a huge impact on the debate and perhaps on Bush's decision. Frist was a top heart and lung transplant surgeon before joining Congress, and as the only physician in the Senate he is the GOP "go-to" man for all issues relating to health care policy.
Rove must have met with him to straighten him out.