Nothing stems from blocked research

Monday, September 17, 2007 | 11:20 a.m. CDT; updated 8:08 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 5, 2008

Opponents of stem cell research are now masquerading as “pro-cures.” The truth is that not only do they seek to repeal the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of Missouri doctors to use the new frontier of stem cell research to find cures, but they seek to repeal the freedom that people suffering from a wide range of diseases have to make their own choices about their own medical care.

I have lived with a spinal cord injury that has left me paralyzed from the shoulders down since 1989. I believe you should have the right to use your own DNA, such as a cheek cell, and an unfertilized egg to make a genetically matched stem cell treatment to cure the disease that afflicts you.

I truly respect that other people may have a different point of view. I support those who would choose to refuse a cure for themselves using this procedure, but I also believe they do not have the right to make that personal choice for others.

Research is like a tree. When planted, we do not know what shape the tree will take and what it’ll look like. We do not know which branch of the limb will bear fruit. If the limb is cut off, all of the future branches from that limb are lost forever. We should protect the tree of research and give people the choice to use the cures that come from it.

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