Gov't funding for Stem Cells - page 2
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Aug 11, '01Hi. I want to preface my remarks that if the results of stem cell research and development were successful for the intended purposes, I would benefit. Despite this, it's a proven fact that primary prevention and promotion activities never received the level of social and economic support that treatment and cure did and still does. Primary prevention and promotion activities require real individual sacrifice that this fast food society is not accustomed to and does not seem willing to accept and do. Therefore, we do not know the true and full impact of prevention and promotion because we've never really experienced it as a nation or in the world population. We do have plenty of evidence of the results of the treat and cure model and we know that third party payors including the government have been paying for this model for years. In fact, most of us have only worked under the treat, care, and cure model our entire careers.
Researchers are finding that diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's may be related to underlying environmental, genetic and lifestyle causes. We know that much of this is true for diabetes.
I really believe that we need to place more emphasis on preventing the underlying causes of these diseases instead of continuing to throw all our resources to treat and cure. Prevention is typically alot less expensive in terms of funding then treat and cure. Over the years, we have by and large seen successful results of childhood immunizations even though due to improved recordkeeping we can find incidents of poor outcomes. We can also find poor outcomes in the treat and cure arena. Given this evidence, why stop at childhood immunizations and voluntary and/or mandatory wellness checkups for adults and children in terms of primary prevention and promotion?
Question. If the underlying causes of diseases are not addressed (environmental effects, genetics, lifestyle, etc.) and stem cell use grows exponentially as a result, what makes you think that the cloning of humans won't be reintroduced and strongly considered once everyone realizes the costliness of undergoing stem cell procedures?
Aug 11, '01Hi. Need to clarify for the record. I've experienced many joys in my career seeing patients successfully treated or even cured. I'm not opposed to treat and cure. I just think that it needs to be balanced with primary prevention and promotion for the sake of the future. I know that many of the supporters of stem cell research only want to see suffering end. I would like to see that also. But, I think that we need to understand and acknowledge that positive results from stem cell use will not lead to paradise on earth for humans as primary prevention and promotion won't. We also need to realize that the potential fallout from stem cell use may be more than we bargained for.
Aug 12, '01I do agree with your views regarding prevention Mijourney, I just wanted to point out that for many that is not possible and too late. I don't think we should just give up of those who did not benefit from prevention. I don't feel that the use of stem cells is a quick fix, as you put, but another option.
Aug 13, '01Well here is my two cents on the whole issue. I have mixed emotions. In a way I am not for sure about the embryos being used for stem-cell/research and how they are exactly being obtained but I do feel if they are going to get thrown away in the end anyway stem-cell research would be a great way to keep them for research and better health for others. I do agree with mijourney about putting more emphasis on preventive health but what about the diseases that cannot be helped people can no help their genetic backgrounds and many people cannot help some of their environmental backgrounds either like helpless children who can't help that their parents smoke or their mothers drink while they were in their mother's womb and now they are paying the price of it with their own life's. I feel that some things can not be helped and if researchers feel stem-cell research is the way to go then I feel it is good. Obviously President Bush thought long and hard about this and he is known to be strongly opposed to abortions. I feel if a man like president bush with his beliefs think it is okay then I feel better with the issue on stem-cells myself.
Aug 13, '01Hi. I appreciate and welcome the responses to my posts. Again, I'm not opposed to treat and cure methods. What I'm opposed to is adults in particular like me looking for what seems an easy way out of our suffering. Or worse, people who will say, well if I abuse my body, I can get stem cell repairs to make me brand new or keep me from getting worse. There's no incentive to prevent anything. Take osteoarthritis and type 2 diabetes for instance. We know that by and large most sufferers acquire these conditions as a result of some genetic link in their system as well as lifestyle. Most health care professionals know how to prevent type 2 diabetes and even osteoarthritis for the most part, but how much time do nurses, physicians, and therapists spend trying to teach proper prevention and promotion techniques on the basis of someone's family hx or lifestyle? I will tell you that I don't believe my doctor knows how to help prevent anything because for him, prevention was given very little attention in medical school. The same is true for nurses and therapists.
I do agree that young children have no control over their environment and therefore may warrant special consideration when it comes to stem cell use. The problem is is that most of them will continue being around mothers and fathers who smoke, use drugs, and drink. Or they will leave in areas infested by the wastes of businesses. How will stem cell implantation fair under those conditions?
I do have what I believe is an interesting question for you all. What if stem cell research was heavily directed toward those who were diagnosed as mentally ill and on medication for their mental illness? Would the outcome from stem cell use in mentally ill people result in a permanent and significant reduction in the homeless population, LTC population, or even the prison population? Would it reduce domestic crime?
My major concern is that if we find that people continue to physically and/or mentally deteriorate despite stem cell implantation due to uncontrolled environmental, lifestyle, or certain genetic effects, what's next? Cloning?
Aug 13, '01Selected Newspaper links for info on this topic obtained from healthleaders.com email.
1.Knight Ridder News Service/Philadelphia Inquirer
Saturday, August 11, 2001
Ethics is not the only touchy area for stem-cell research
A patent fight is also possible. A California company holds rights to technology some say belongs in the public domain.
2. Washington Post, Aug. 11, 2001
Bush stem cell policy cools fervor on Hill
President Bush's decision to allow limited funding of embryonic stem cell research has apparently cooled fervor in Congress to require more expansive federal funding of the research
Check out sidebar re Primer on Stem cell research
3. Chicago Tribune, Aug. 12, 2001
Bush's guardian of bioethics
Bioethicist Dr. Leon Kass of the University of Chicago says he accepted the appointment as head of a new presidential council on stem cell research on the condition that the council would also be a forum for the overall questions of morality and modern science.
4. Chicago Tribune, Aug. 13, 2001
Heart cells beat anew in 3-D dish
Researchers at the University of Illinois' Chicago campus have found that equipment designed to fabricate computer chips may also be used to make homes for living cells. The scientist say they have been able to isolate heart tissue cells on a 3-D platform and keep them upright and beating, much like normal heart cells do in the body.
5. San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 11, 2001
Stem cell decision balances interests
President Bush's decision to allow federal funding of only a few lines of already created stem cells won't be enough to lead to new medical treatments. Researchers say it will be inevitable that new lines of stem cells will have to be created to generate any treatments that are medically useful.