Frist knocks Edwards over stem cell comm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Frist knocks Edwards over stem cell comm
Tue, 10-12-2004 - 9:48pm


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-13-2004 - 8:20am

I have to agree it was a tacky comment.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-13-2004 - 10:38am
Cough, cough! Sorry, the miasma of hypocrisy floated into my lungs. Frist calls Edwards opportunistic? This from the party that is cramming 9/11 down our throats and using it with NO compunction, making time off the deaths of *thousands*?? Christopher Reeve believed STRONGLY in stem cell research and DID plan to be able to walk again. Edwards gave voice to a sentiment that Reeves actually espoused. I'm not saying there isn't politcal motivation behind it but Frist should use his medical training to extract his foot out of his mouth.



iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2003
Wed, 10-13-2004 - 8:41pm
Actually, what's interesting is that the stem cell research that they are making progress on (in terms of discovering cures) is in fact from adult stem cells, not embroyotic stem cells, which is what this debate is about. But, somehow, that fact seems to get lost in everything. . .
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Fri, 10-15-2004 - 1:25pm
That's because the Bush administration has cut off funding for embryonic stem cell research. Adult stem cell research does not show the same promise as embryonic stem cell research. Here's an exerpt and the link to an article.

"JDRF-funded researchers at Harvard University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) have made a landmark discovery about how the body makes new insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas to replace those lost by normal aging, injury, or disease. The scientists found that new beta cells are formed through the replication of existing beta cells rather than the differentiation of adult stem cells.

The finding, made in mice, suggests that the body’s capacity to make copies of pancreatic beta cells might be boosted by medical treatments, allowing patients with type 1 diabetes to regenerate residual (remaining) beta cells and regain control of blood sugar levels. It also establishes firmly that adult stem cells in the pancreas do not contribute to new beta cell formation in the mouse—meaning that embryonic stem cells may prove to be the only stem cells that will be useful in the laboratory to generate beta cells for the treatment of type 1 diabetes."

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-28-2003
Fri, 10-15-2004 - 1:42pm
I totally agree with you. As someone who has an autoiummen disorder, I am hoping that stem cell research will one day help people like me. I have no iummen system left, ever bug that comes around I get. I would love to beable to live my life with out being sick all of the time.

Frist is the pot calling the kettle black IMHO. We need to be doing this reseach, and I hope once Mr Kerry becomes President, he will start giving funds for the reseach again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-15-2004 - 1:56pm

Let's get our facts straight with regards to stem cell research, eh?

An Edwards Outrage

By Charles Krauthammer

Friday, October 15, 2004; Page A23

After the second presidential debate, in which John Kerry used the word "plan" 24 times, I said on television that Kerry has a plan for everything except curing psoriasis. I should have known there is no parodying Kerry's pandering. It turned out days later that the Kerry campaign has a plan -- nay, a promise -- to cure paralysis. What is the plan? Vote for Kerry.

This is John Edwards on Monday at a rally in Newton, Iowa: "If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again."

In my 25 years in Washington, I have never seen a more loathsome display of demagoguery. Hope is good. False hope is bad. Deliberately, for personal gain, raising false hope in the catastrophically afflicted is despicable.

Where does one begin to deconstruct this outrage?

First, the inability of the human spinal cord to regenerate is one of the great mysteries of biology. The answer is not remotely around the corner. It could take a generation to unravel. To imply, as Edwards did, that it is imminent if only you elect the right politicians is scandalous.

Second, if the cure for spinal cord injury comes, we have no idea where it will come from. There are many lines of inquiry. Stem cell research is just one of many possibilities, and a very speculative one at that. For 30 years I have heard promises of miracle cures for paralysis (including my own, suffered as a medical student). The last fad, fetal tissue transplants, was thought to be a sure thing. Nothing came of it.

As a doctor by training, I've known better than to believe the hype -- and have tried in my own counseling of people with new spinal cord injuries to place the possibility of cure in abeyance. I advise instead to concentrate on making a life (and a very good life it can be) with the hand one is dealt. The greatest enemies of this advice have been the snake-oil salesmen promising a miracle around the corner. I never expected a candidate for vice president to be one of them.

Third, the implication that Christopher Reeve was prevented from getting out of his wheelchair by the Bush stem cell policies is a travesty.

George Bush is the first president to approve federal funding for stem cell research. There are 22 lines of stem cells now available, up from one just two years ago. As Leon Kass, head of the President's Council on Bioethics, has written, there are 3,500 shipments of stem cells waiting for anybody who wants them.

Edwards and Kerry constantly talk of a Bush "ban" on stem cell research. This is false. There is no ban. You want to study stem cells? You get them from the companies that have the cells and apply to the National Institutes of Health for the federal funding.

In his Aug. 7 radio address to the nation, Kerry referred not once but four times to the "ban" on stem cell research instituted by Bush. At the time, Reeve was alive, so not available for posthumous exploitation. But Ronald Reagan was available, having recently died of Alzheimer's.

So what does Kerry do? He begins his radio address with the disgraceful claim that the stem cell "ban" is standing in the way of an Alzheimer's cure.

This is an outright lie. The President's Council on Bioethics, on which I sit, had one of the world's foremost experts on Alzheimer's, Dennis Selkoe from Harvard, give us a lecture on the newest and most promising approaches to solving the Alzheimer's mystery. Selkoe reported remarkable progress in using biochemicals to clear the "plaque" deposits in the brain that lead to Alzheimer's. He ended his presentation without the phrase "stem cells" having passed his lips.

So much for the miracle cure. Ronald D.G. McKay, a stem cell researcher at NIH, has admitted publicly that stem cells as an Alzheimer's cure are a fiction, but that "people need a fairy tale." Kerry and Edwards certainly do. They are shamelessly exploiting this fairy tale, having no doubt been told by their pollsters that stem cells play well politically for them.

Politicians have long promised a chicken in every pot. It is part of the game. It is one thing to promise ethanol subsidies here, dairy price controls there. But to exploit the desperate hopes of desperate people with the promise of Christ-like cures is beyond the pale.

There is no apologizing for Edwards's remark. It is too revealing. There is absolutely nothing the man will not say to get elected.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Fri, 10-15-2004 - 4:29pm
I DO have my facts straight about stem cell research. The article I referenced has to do with Juvenile Diabetes, and JDRF is the leading research organization for juvenile diabetes.

I do not pretend to know anything about Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or even spinal cord injuries. Although I have heard of rats walking again after having been paralyzed and subsequently treated with stem cells. But I didn't have a research study to point to so I didn't include that in my discussion.

I DO know that embryonic stem cell research is likely to be where the cure for JUVENILE DIABETES comes from. Check the article. I am talking CURE. Please don't preach to me about not knowing my "facts". The research shows that this is NOT a false hope. We are close. And with more research and human clinical trials there is LIKELY to be a cure within my daughters life time.

Your article is not the last word. Your Charles Krauthammer has twisted the facts to suit himself. Maybe Edwards shouldn't have mentioned Christopher Reeves, but Christopher Reeves was an intelligent man and he supported stem cell research 100%. He would not have objected to what Edwards had to say. I for one do not believe it is "false hope" to support stem cell research for a cure for all of these other diseases. Top researchers, nobel prize winners, support stem cell research. Maybe the answer isn't around the corner, like it is for Juvenile Diabetes, but it could happen in the next generation. Even Krauthammer admits that. Just because it is not immenent does that mean it isn't worth pursuing?

We are talking about a regenerative medicine. Something that would allow the body to heal itself. It is the new frontier in medicine.

Maybe you need to get your facts straight.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-15-2004 - 4:49pm

I'm sorry my dear.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 10-15-2004 - 5:16pm

Another mother's viewpoint...and she has a kid with juvenile diabetes too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Fri, 10-15-2004 - 5:47pm
Oh please. SO Bush hasn't technically cut off every last dollar, he has just handcuffed the researchers to the point that we have our brightest minds going overseas so that they can do real research. Talk about sucked in. Symantics. Edwards has nothing to do with my beliefs.

How did the safety of the nation come into this? Stem cell research is now a detriment to the nations security? Wow, that's an interesting spin. I don't get it, but it's interesting.

There are thousands of embryos that are already slated for destruction (none need to be created) that could be used for research if not for restrictions in funding implimented by George W. Sure if you want to use compromised stem cell lines then yes, you could have funding, but your results would be worthless. No one wants those cell lines because of that. Do you get it yet? Yes there technically is funding but what good is it if the stem cell lines are commpromised? Essentially Bush has cut off funding for stem cell research, but not technically. That is the fact.

Yes, my family would likely see results from stem cell research faster than some of the other diseases. If that makes me a bad person so be it. We are privately funding research. Remember the JDRF article that I originally referenced, that for some reason you either ignored or shot down as false? That organization funds lots of research, not just stem cell research.

You sure took some weird twists in your argument, large leaps and assumptions about me and the basis of my beliefs. I would never put the lives of those in uniform at risk and don't appreciate you stating that I would. But let's not go off on some weird tangent. Let's stick to stem cell research. I have done lots of research on stem cell research, and my "decisions" are not based on false information. The potential for cures for many diseases are innumerable. Even your previously mentioned article states that cures for spinal cord injuries could happen in the next generation. It's regenerative so the potential is endless. It's the future of medicine.