Overturning 2006 vote favoring stem cell research is criminal

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 | 10:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:03 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fifteen months ago Missourians passed the Missouri Stem Cell Amendment to protect research for lifesaving cures that could benefit 125 million Americans.

On Feb. 20 a Missouri judge forgot that election results are the collective voice of the people and ruled with the minority who oppose stem cell research.

I speak with 60,000 Missouri citizens and more than 100 respected patient, faith and medical groups when I say I am very disappointed.

The 2006 election results protected stem cell research in Missouri, thereby protecting the potential for cures for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, sickle cell anemia and spinal cord injury. The attempt to overturn the Missouri Stem Cell Amendment blatantly disregards not just the election results, but also our hope for cures and an improved quality of life for millions.

With the judge’s ruling, opposition will work vigorously to turn legal, lifesaving research and treatments into criminal acts. I urge Missourians not to sign your name to the drastic proposal to repeal our access to medical research, treatments and cures that we voted to protect. Missouri has an opportunity to remain a world leader with constitutional protections permitting controlled therapeutic research, which outlaws cloning aimed at duplicating a person.

As a citizen, I am outraged that the 2006 public vote is in jeopardy. I understand the possibilities stem cell research holds. As a Christian I believe stem cell research is “pro-life,” and as a 21-year-old with rheumatoid arthritis I place my hope in stem cell research.

My guess is that if the judge had a mother with cancer, or a brother with a spinal cord injury, she may have remembered Feb. 20 that Missourians voted in 2006 for the cures and hope that stem cell research provides.

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Donna Sullivan February 26, 2008 | 6:57 p.m.

I have been advocating for individuals with spinal cord injuries over the last several years. Too often, individuals who have little knowledge of the science impose their wishes on the entire community. Stem cell research holds the best opportunity for my son to recover and return to a productive life. Currently, he suffers from neuropathic pain for which there is not an effective treatment. For most individuals with a SCI, walking is not at the top of their wish list as there are so many other conditions they deal with that threaten their lives.

The commmunity that supports stem cell research needs to speak up. Those that hold us down, need to be pushed aside. There is so much suffering associated with conditions that one day might be cured with this research.

The minority of individuals that oppose stem cell research lack an understanding of the science,compassion for those suffering and show little respect for life. It is the community that supports this research that supports life. Those that work against embryonic stem cell research are only fooling themselves when they say they are working to save lives. The truth is, they are preventing many from living. We as a community need to speak up.

(Report Comment)
Leo Hallan February 27, 2008 | 12:33 p.m.

Stupid is stupid does!

The people of country is tired of seeing their vote stolen by hard line conservatives. You are harming Christianity and you are wrong.

Raise hell about the 300 embryos thrown away each day then come back.

(Report Comment)
Kathy Allen February 28, 2008 | 12:28 p.m.

I thought you had a voice when you voted. Shame on the opposition to this. You are being very selfish. You would rather throw away the embryos than have them "live" to help so many people.

(Report Comment)
Charlie Hinderliter February 28, 2008 | 2:29 p.m.

I applaud Judge Joyce’s ruling regarding the Missouri Cures Without Cloning initiative. This ruling was not about politics, but rather about upholding and applying Missouri law.

This ruling should be praised because it allows the citizens of our state access to the democratic process, whether you agree with the proposed amendment or not.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Clausing February 29, 2008 | 5:06 a.m.

Some facts neglected in the article:

1) The Missouri Cures Without Cloning Initiative does not oppose stem cell research or seek to overturn the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Amendment; it only opposes the cloning of human embryos, something currently permitted by the amendment so long as the embryos are killed before birth.

2) So far embryonic stem cell research has produced zero cures, while research on other types of stem cells has produced many useful therapies. As far as real, usable results go, non-embryonic stem cell research is where our hope lies. The new initiative seeks to outlaw a form of research that has thus far proved utterly useless.

In debating this issue it is important to be clear about what the issue actually is. No one is morally opposed to obtaining cures. The single question is, "Is a cloned human embryo a human being whose life is worthy of legal protection?" Those who say no hold that it is morally permissible to use cloned embryos in research. Those who say yes hold that such research is always immoral, because it is wrong to kill some human beings in order to help others. I and many Missourians want cures without cloning, not cures at the expense of human life.

(Report Comment)
Morgan Bearden February 29, 2008 | 1:09 p.m.

I think the state should start a register: You don't like stem cell research (all types) and don't ever want to benefit from it, sign up and you will be guaranteed to never be treated with any regime that has any connection to stem cell research.

Are you aware that fetal tissue was used to develop the Rubella and Polio vaccines? That couldn’t happen today because you think that sending human tissue to an incinerator is a better use than scientific research. This coming from the same people who brought us the inquisition and the “Earth is the center of the universe theory”. SHAME ON YOU!

How dare you self-centered, bible-thumping Luddites stand between my diabetic daughter and ANY potential cure. Make yourself useful and get out of the way. I’ll be happy to go straight to Hell if it means that my daughter can live a normal life without the threat of blindness, heart and kidney disease, stroke, amputation, high risk pregnancy, or an early death.

Do you really think your silly little movement is going to stop the march of science? Crawl back into your cave, church, or basement and leave the rest of us alone.

(Report Comment)

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