Friday, July 21, 2006

Marginalized Voices in the Stem Cell Debate

Watch the mainstream media and you'll get the impression that disabled Americans are united in their support of embryonic stem cell research. James Kelly, who suffered a spinal cord injury in 1997, explains why he believes President Bush's veto of H.R. 810 is a cause for hope. (HT:

Joni Eareckson Tada, a disability rights activist who has been a quadriplegic since suffering a spinal cord injury nearly 40 years ago, also supports the decision. This from

"People like me -- who are medically fragile -- are left vulnerable and exposed in a society that views human life as a commodity which can be experimented upon or exploited," she explained.
Tada said the disability community has another vested interest in the Presidential veto. Despite lack of reporting by the media, people with disabilities can be encouraged by recent and dramatic advancements in adult stem cell research, she said.
Adult cells may be more elastic than scientists previously thought and are offering short-cuts to treatment which embryonic cells cannot match. Over 70 medical conditions are either being treated using adult stem cell therapies or are presently in clinical trials. “I am grateful for the principled stand our President has taken, first and foremost because of the sanctity of human life, but also because restrictions on use of taxpayer dollars may well encourage funding in the overlooked and less commercially viable field of adult stem cell therapy," Tada explained.

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