More MS news articles for July 2001

Ivins' column on stem cells troubles readers

Letters to the Editor, July 16

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/opinion/article/0,1299,DRMN_38_749454,00.html

July 16, 2001

Molly Ivins has serious flaws in her July 11 column supporting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, "Bush straddling fence on stem cells."

First, she believes anyone who knows a person with a condition that potentially could be helped by this research would support it. I have multiple sclerosis. To hike and ski again with my husband and children would be sweet bliss. But I could never accept the benefits of a procedure that destroys the life of one human being to theoretically improve the welfare of another.

Second, Ivins treats too lightly the idea that research with embryonic cells will lead down the proverbial "slippery slope." A lead headline on the same day as Ivins' column announced "Embryos created for science." These embryos were created by the union of egg and sperm in a petri dish only for the purpose of experimentation and destruction. Forget the slippery slope. Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research will start an avalanche of experimentation based solely on utilitarianism.

Third, Ivins uses the term "stem cell research" only in reference to the use of cells extracted from human embryos. Stem cell research that ethically uses umbilical-cord blood and adult bone marrow also exists and holds as much promise as the unethical fetal-tissue experiments. Let's pursue these ethical avenues and stay away from the path we will live to regret.

2001 © The E.W. Scripps Co.