“Rock star” embryonic researcher protests his photo in pro-life display at UCI

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The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform conducted its Genocide Awareness Project at the University of California, Irvine, on April 19 and 20.
There was an interesting flare-up. UCI is professional home to Dr. Hans Keirstead, co-director of the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. According to Wikipedia, Keirstead is spearheading the first FDA approved human trial of injecting embryonic stem cells into spinal-cord patients.
So Keirstead is all about human embryo experimentation, which is also his claim to fame.
Enter CBR with a provocative sign that included Keirstead’s photo (click to enlarge)…


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… which eventually attracted a furious Dr. Keirstead to the GAP display…
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Following read CBR Exec. Dir. Gregg Cunningham’s fascinating account of the 2 hour altercation….

Hans Keirstead’s main arguments were exactly the ones used by the Nazi doctors who were doing lethal experiments on Jews. Their victims were subhuman, they were destined to die anyway, it was all legal, other countries were doing it and it would benefit all mankind to find cures for dread diseases. He was standing in front of a sign with the covers of the books quoting those exact arguments and the irony was totally lost on him. He just stood there parroting propaganda like a programmed robot.

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Keirstead deliberately used dehumanizing rhetoric to refer to the babies, alternately calling them “the products of united sperm and egg cells” and “fertilized eggs.” I told him he was doing what racists do when they dehumanize blacks with the “N” word or anti-Semites when they use the “K” word to slur their Jewish victims. The fertilized egg reference wasn’t even the biologically correct term for embryos at the stage at which he is killing them. When Keirstead tried to deny that he was personally killing them I asserted that he was at least complicit in their killing and he changed the subject. I also reminded him that the term “embryo” describes a stage of life, not a type of life.
Keirstead constantly tried to shift the debate to technical grounds on which he felt he had some advantage. He blasted us with scientific jargon which described arcane research processes with which he hoped to cloud the ethical issues. We kept forcing him back to the morality of killing one human being for the benefit of another.

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Keirstead was very upset that the sign on which his picture appeared also depicted aborted babies of all ages along a developmental continuum. He said he worked only with “blastocysts” and not fetuses. I told him I was a lawyer and invited him to sue me. We said that ages of his victims were irrelevant to his culpability for killing them. I am certain that he supports abortion rights without trimester limits, which makes all the more dishonest the fact that he sought refuge in his claim to be involved in the killing of only very young babies. He said we don’t use fetal tissue and I responded, “Whether that is true or not, there are many researchers who do.”
When I criticized “clone-to-kill” procedures Keirstead said “that isn’t legal here” and I said “it is in the U.K.” and in fact there is no legal prohibition against it here, but it is limited only by funding restrictions. I did not take him into a discussion of the bogus ethical distinction between “therapeutic cloning” (creating cloned babies for body parts and killing them before they become “human”) and “reproductive cloning” (creating cloned babies to implant and carry to term).
Then Keirstead would fall back on the usual “form and function” arguments such as a lack of “sentience,” which are so easily knocked back by reminding him that he will be rendered “insentient” when he falls asleep tonight but he will gain sentience when he awakens and his victims would gain sentience when they are born, it he doesn’t kill them first. Keirstead also derided adult stem cell research as inferior in its potential to deliver therapeutic applications but I countered that for the sake of argument, even if that were true, embryonic stem cell harvesting still kills babies.

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Keirstead also kept mischaracterizing our remarks to set up straw man arguments he could more easily invalidate. He said we were against IVF despite the fact that I had clearly stated our belief that IVF should be regulated by banning the creation of more embryos than a particular mother intends to implant and carry to term in a particular pregnancy. He said these embryos can’t be suspended in a frozen state indefinitely and I said then let’s promote embryo adoption and spend money trying to find better ways to save them instead of better ways to kill them. Then he repeated,” So your problem is you are against IVF,” and I said, “No, our problem is we are against YOU and the fact that you killing babies.”
Keirstead was particularly angry that I had used his photo on the sign (and in fact, one pro-life student refused to join the pro-life student group sponsoring the display because of our use of the photo), but it was very clear that he wouldn’t have come out for two hours or perhaps at all had we not angered him. He said, “Why didn’t you just invite me to come out here,” and of course the answer is that our sign was his invitation. I resisted the temptation to ask what had taken him so long to come out and confront us. I again reminded that he was more than welcome to sue me if he thought I had broken the law. What better way to focus attention on our cause! I also told him that he was spending public money to kill babies at public university and thereby forfeited any reasonable expectation of privacy.
Keirstead repeatedly said we had no business revisiting these issues because this debate had already been conducted and his side has won with the passage of a ballot initiative appropriating billions of dollars to fund his work. I said this debate has only just begun. He said we have already educated people about these issues and I said you have lied to them and we are here to set the record straight. I told him that his arguments that we should take our signs somewhere where people wanted to see them were reminiscent of racists telling Martin Luther King he should take his message to the black church and not bother white people.
I hammered Keirstead for an article in the Orange County Register which quoted him as telling the father of a famous motorcycle racer who had been paralyzed in a racing accident that he could cure him in five to seven years [click to enlarge]…

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I accused him of fraud in making such an outrageous claim to manipulate a desperate victim who later gave him a $200,000 research grant. He said, “You say I said that, but that isn’t what I told Ricky James.” I said, “I didn’t say that is what you said. I said that is what the newspaper quoted you as saying.” He said, “They printed a retraction.” I said, “Show it to me.” Then he hedged and said, “Well, you should talk to Ricky James to learn what was actually said.” I said you have the burden to disprove the accuracy of the newspaper quote, I do not have the burden to prove it. He changed the subject. I didn’t take him into the esoteric law of defamation (he is a public figure and arguably a public official substantially raising his barriers to a successful suit) as he kept trying to take me into the esoteric process of stem cell research.
The whole time was essentially a circular repetition of those exchanges, but Keirstead seemed mesmerized by the experience. I kept expecting him to walk away in disgust, but he stood there for two full hours of back-and-forth and he was getting pummeled. By the end of the exchange, I am sure he was having second thoughts about the wisdom of his bold challenge to a public debate with us, which was how he began his confrontation with us. But we aren’t to let him off the hook. We will debate for killing babies or we will mock him for being a coward. Despite the fact that he is one of the world’s most prominent embryonic stem cell researchers at one of the world’s most influential stem cell research institutes, his poor performance against us was a function of the fact that he had obviously never been challenged so aggressively and the fact that he doesn’t have an ethical leg on which to stand.

94 thoughts on ““Rock star” embryonic researcher protests his photo in pro-life display at UCI”

  1. I am reminded of Arnold the ‘governator’ in kindergarten kop when one of his young students tried to suggest that the reason for Arnold’s headache was a brain tumor.
    He replied in exasperation, “It’s not a tuhmore! It’s not a tuhmore!”
    Keirstead justification for his use of human sujects for research is, “It’s not a baby. It’s not a baby.” or “It is a tumor. It is a tumor.”
    I would say, based on Keirsteads inability to mount any kind of defense for his research and his similarity to the good German physicians and researchers, that Grey Cunningham hit the bullseye repeatedly.
    I look forward to viewing the video of the encounter.
    yor bro ken

  2. Wonderful story!!! Let the pro-deaths know they’re not going to get away easily with what they do.
    There has been a lot of significant break-throughs in adult stem-cell research recently. Embryonic stem-cell research has nothing of value to show so far.

  3. Well, I don’t have a crush on Gregg Cunningham anymore.
    “He said we were against IVF despite the fact that I had clearly stated our belief that IFV should be regulated by banning the creation of more embryos than a particular mother intends to implant and carry to term in a particular pregnancy.”
    You’re not against IVF? This would never work between us, Gregg…

  4. By the way, I know this is a wise policy move on American CBR’s part and that Gregg is probably anti IVF in real life (and probably married, too)—my beef is that if you want to call people a coward, be complete and upfront with all your relevant positions even if it opens a can of worms.

  5. Wish I could have been there, with a 2 bags of popcorn and 5 strawberry lemonades.
    2 hours? A couple of real heavyweights, going toe to toe (or round and round). The Culture of Life v. the culture of death.
    Cunningham knew exactly what he was doing, baited him with the sign, attacked his ego/image, provoked the conflict, not unlike what Todd Bullis is doing in Ventura.
    The fact that he went 2 hours only shows how deeply bothered he is by having his mug characterized like that, associated with his peers, Mengele and the other Nazi “doctors”.
    Like the pastors in Venura, it’s all about image.
    They should be more concerned with whether or not they are pleasing the Lord, the Soon Coming Judge, rather than men.

  6. LOL you are all so ignorant. We’ll be working 3x as hard to bring esc to trials. Thankfully the world in general thinks you nut jobs are….nut jobs.

  7. LOL,
    What an eloquent spokesperson for your cause you are, especially given your young age! I’d guess you are about 14 or so?
    Please, PLEASE keep advocating LOUDLY for your position and we’ll keep Gregg Cunningham for our position- a man capable of speaking his case without internet and text acronyms and with proper punctuation and sentence structure.

  8. “…you are all so ignorant.We’ll be working 3x as hard to bring esc to trials – LOL”
    ===============================================
    Even working 10x as hard will NOT produce the results you want working on ESC as compared to ASC.
    Why do you think CA is now moving their research towards ASC???

  9. “lol” writes: “LOL you are all so ignorant. We’ll be working 3x as hard to bring esc to trials. Thankfully the world in general thinks you nut jobs are….nut jobs.”
    Most of “the world” (including much of Europe) has installed a more restrictive policy on embryo-destructive research than we have here, just so you know. Scientists, for reasons of both ethics and practicality, are more and more moving away from ESCR and towards ASCR and other ethical alternatives. How many times harder will you be working then? And will your new name be “OMGZ!”?

  10. Posted by: lol at April 22, 2010 12:52 PM
    “We’ll be working 3x as hard to bring esc to trials.”
    ————————————————–
    LegacyOfLunacy,
    People who are stump stupid just keep doubling down on dumb and losing even more money on the instant replay.
    If it weren’t for dogmatic egomaniacs, posing as scientists, pushing their bankrupt humanist agendas in order to justify the continued killing of prenatal children, the free market would have already lead investors and the people and companies they invest in to abandon the dead end of embyonic stem cell research and put their money in adult stem cell reseach which has already demonstrated phenomemal results.
    But arrogant asses who arrogate unto themselves the nannyesque position of knowing what is best for all the other inferior mortals just cannot contemplate, much less ackowledge, they are on a fool’s errand and have been for some time.
    yor bro ken

  11. LegacyOfLunacy,
    Still lookin for that water table to play on which to play ‘Tiddly Winks’?
    I hear snypes will be in season soon. Have you got your hunting license yet?
    Hurry back with that ‘sky hook’. Then really need it over in Research and Development.
    yor bro ken

  12. So some guy spent two hours harassing a man who is working hard to make the world a better place with his under-appreciated research, comparing him to Nazi doctors in the process… and you wackos are cheering him on. Wow. Just wow. Well you know what? You’re not going to stop him or his research, and someday it might just save one of your lives or allow you to walk again. Too bad there isn’t a way to prevent access to such cutting edge treatments for you “pro-life” nut jobs, since you obviously hate everything that has to do with science and modern medicine and would ban heroes like Dr. Keirstead from doing his work if you could. You are poor excuses for human beings and the world would be a better place without you.

  13. Ian,
    The reason that the pro-lifers cheer Cunningham on is because they have done their research and agree with his analysis. Embryonic Stem Cell development has not yielded any results, but Adult Stem Cell research is currently curring diseases.
    Yes, many, if not most, pro-lifers believe that life begins at conception. They argue against ESC because of this. You may believe this to be a religious argument, but it is accuately the only logical sceintific explanation. At conception, a new human comes into existence, as is seen by the joining of 23 chromosomes from the egg and 23 from the sperm. Since that makes 46, it is a unique creation, distinct from any others.
    If pro-lifers were to define human life different, like at a later point in development, it would accuately be an arbitrary definition that did not employ science, but simply opinion.
    And just so you can sleep good tonight, from what I’ve read, most pro-lifers would reject treatment from ESC’s anyway.
    By the way, Dr. Keirstead could have left. It was his choice to stay and argue. If he was unable to defend his position better, that’s really nobody’s fault but his.
    Also, if the situation was reversed, and I was arguing for something that had the potential to save your life, but you were against it, I would definitely want you to get treatment, when it became available. Just because we disagree on an issue, doesn’t mean that we have to wish harm towards each other.

  14. Posted by: ian at April 22, 2010 4:30 PM
    1. “So some guy spent two hours harassing a man who is working hard to make the world a better place”…
    2. …”you obviously hate everything that has to do with science and modern medicine and would ban heroes like Dr. Keirstead”…
    3. “You are poor excuses for human beings”…
    ————————————————–lesb-ian,
    1. Not to be a stickler for details, but if you actually read the whole article you would know the ‘mad scientist’ left his laboratory and sought out Greg. Greg did not go to Keirstead’s office and challenge the mad doc to a debate at 20 centimeters. Keirstead was like a hound dog who has encountered a porcupine. He just would not disenage no matter how painful the experience became.
    The thing about hound dogs and porcupines is the hound dog learns slow and forgets quick and the next time he sees a porcupine he shove his still tender nose right back into the porcupines quills.
    It was Kierstad who made the determination he had two hours to kill not Greg.
    2. I can only speak for myself (tho I am confident nearly all the folk who comment here share my sentiment), but before I had a heart attack I was already very appreciative of doctors and technology and I was even more grateful after the men and their machines saved my life.
    No child was required to die to provide the expertise and the technology that saved my life and prevented irreparable damage to my heart.
    I would refuse treatment if that were the cost of my survival.
    3. You, who are willing to sacrifice your fellow humans in the false hope that doing so will prolong your miserable existence, are in no position to judge who is or is not a good example of humanity.
    Compared to you common criminals would look almost reasonable.
    yor bro ken

  15. How dare you compare a doctor who has dedicated his life to curing unimaginable suffering and waste of human potential to a murderer? What are you people doing to make the world better? Go take care of handicapped or hungry babies if you’re so self-righteous. And pray you stay healthy and will never need the therapies this good man is helping to pioneer.

  16. I would refuse treatment if that were the cost of my survival.
    Perfect. Anybody who is stupid enough to put the wellbeing of a microscopic embryo above his own survival definitely should be weeded out of the gene pool anyway. Good riddance. My only problem is when you and the rest of the American Taliban try to force your moronic beliefs on sane people who are living in the 21st century… like me.
    Frankly I wouldn’t care if they needed to destroy 100 million embryos just to make one tiny scientific advancement. It would be completely worth it and no reasonable person could possibly think otherwise.

  17. Ian —
    Replace “microscopic embryo” with “Jew” and you have the exact same arguments of the Nazi party, regarding medical experiments on Jews in concentration camps.
    What interesting company you keep.

  18. Thank you Dr. Keirstead for your dedication to protecting the life of the paralysis community. For those of us who have followed your research and advocated on behalf of the potential it holds, you have our continued support. Nothing could be more PROLIFE than bringing recovery to individuals who are unable to move their limbs, have lost bowel, bladder and sexual function, suffer from excruciating neuropathic pain, pressure sores, pneumonia, muscle atrophy and so, so, so much more.
    I would ask those who oppose stem cell research to imagine themselves in a situation where they are dependent on someone else to eat, manually empty their bladder and bowels (Yep, you read that right), bathe, brush their teeth and more. So many people and places become inaccessible.
    Think about it, that holiday gathering at Grandmas’ is no longer accessible. How many homes do you know of that have a ramp for people with wheelchairs? Those are the places you will be able to visit. Be sure to check the width of the door to the bathroom, it’s probably too small for your wheelchair. You will have to find another private place to empty your bladder and ask someone to please take it to the bathroom and dispose of it. Think about it. Hopefully, you won’t suffer the humiliation of an “accident”.
    For those who chose to ignore the fact that this remarkable research has the potential to turn discarded blastocysts from IVF clinics into a possible cure for my son and the millions of others currently suffering from paralysis; your morals are twisted. If you’re advocating for babies, you should support this research. The families of babies with Spinal Muscular Atrophy do. It’s a horrible disease and takes the lives of babies during their infancy. Who will advocate for them? I will.
    Individuals who oppose this research should do their homework. I would like to believe that a few will. The majority won’t. They choose to ignore the hope this research holds. For those who oppose this research, you are not supporting life. Clearly, if you understood the science you would see how wrong you are. Support the researchers who dedicate their lives to helping others.
    If you can’t support Dr. Keirstead’s research, don’t pursue the curative therapies if you have the misfortune to need them. That’s your choice. I choose to support Dr. Keirstead’s research and hope it leads to recovery for the millions of people around the world who can be helped as a result of it.
    Some people were against IVF before they were for it. When they realized the potential it had, they embraced it. Think about it. As a result of this science, we are led to a possible cure for a number of diseases and conditions. The naysayers did not have their way then, and will not have it now. This science will progress now, just as it did before.

  19. You’re not going to reach these people, Donna. You might as well try to talk Jehova’s Witnesses into accepting blood transfusions. I really don’t care if some moron refuses life-saving medical treatment because it offends his vengeful sky daddy: again, good riddance, I say. But anyone who would try and use the law the enforce their silly religious beliefs on others (i.e. advocating for a ban on stem cell research) is directly attempting to lower my standard of living and therefore is my enemy.

  20. Ian and Donna,
    As far as I know, no one is against stem cell research. We do oppose embryonic stem cell research, which is only one kind. Please provide links to show how ESC has helped people with paralysis, or other disorders. I have not heard or read of any real gains in that department, but I can’t cover everything and would be interested to know what amazing cures they’ve found through ESC.
    I find it interesting, Ian, that you accuse us of hating science and yet the only explanation you can give for why this research is moral and effective is that you say so.
    Donna, I will be praying for your son and a cure. I’m sure this debate is all the more heart-wrenching since you are living it. If you could share any information concerning how ESC has helped his or any condition and Adult SC has failed, I would be very interested. In my opinion, it does no good to be scared of the truth, the more you know, the better judgements you can make.

  21. “You are poor excuses for human beings and the world would be a better place without you” said Ian.
    How do you really feel Ian? Your compassionate statement sure helps me come to the conclusion that proLifers are the nut jobs. Eek.

  22. Heather, my son is just one of millions who are touched by this debate. I’m still surprised at how little people know about this research given the remarkable potential it has. A better understanding of early stage stem cells offers us an opportunity to better understand how they work. For anyone who has been touched by cancer, this information is invaluable. If our curiosity is stifled, we will never move ahead.
    You asked if there are any embryonic stem cell therapies for my son. Today, there are not any embryonic stem cell therapies available for him, nor are there any adult stem cell therapies available for him. Research has been conducted on adult stem cells since the early 1900’s. Embryonic stem cell research began just 11 years ago. There are adult stem cell therapies currently being used to treat a number of diseases and conditions. However, after a century of adult stem cell research, there are not any adult stem cell therapies which will help my son. There are however, a number of therapies moving to clinical trials using embryonic stem cells which show great potential for providing recovery.
    Embryonic stem cells are being tested in labs across the country to treat a variety of neurological diseases and conditions. This research relates to ALS, spinal cord injury, spinal muscular atrophy, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, cerebral palsy and more. The findings in the labs are very encouraging. If my son was a rat, he’d be walking.
    The research referred to in this article uses leftover blastocysts from IVF clinics. They become medical waste or they have the potential to help people recover. It’s a no brainer. Hans Keirstead along with other remarkable researchers, have demonstrated the promise of this research in their labs. The next step is to move this research from the labs to clinical trials. This is a very exciting time for research.
    Before anyone decides if they are for or against any stem cell research, they need to do their homework. Here are a couple links to get you started.
    http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/health.asp is a link to the National Institute of Health which explains all types of stem cell research.
    http://blog.brookeellisonproject.org/tag/misinformation/ is a link to site by Brooke Ellison explaining stem cell misinformation.
    Thanks for your kind thoughts Heather. I hope this helps you and others to better understand the potential this science holds.
    Actually, I’m surprised my reply was even posted. So many blogs that are opposed to embryonic stem cell research never post my reply. It’s no wonder people are misinformed. Thanks Jill for allowing a two way dialogue.

  23. Ian: “So some guy spent two hours harassing a man who is working hard to make the world a better place with his under-appreciated research…”
    “Under-appreciated?” Three billion California dollars’ worth of “underappreciated”? By all means, Golden State, “underappreciate” me all you want.
    “You are poor excuses for human beings and the world would be a better place without you.”
    Ian, you’re a piece of human filth and I’m embarrassed that we are forced to share oxygen with you. You’re really not worth a more coherent argument than that because you fail to provide one.

  24. Ian: “My only problem is when you and the rest of the American Taliban try to force your moronic beliefs on sane people who are living in the 21st century… like me.”
    Don’t even remotely compare yourself to an intelligent or sane person.
    “American Taliban”? Let’s see, now. One group of people believe it is wrong to destroy human beings for medical research, and that more ethical, more promising avenues of research should be favored. The second group believes that women should be stoned to death for wearing short sleeves. Now Ian comes along and puts the two groups on a par. Quite the sense of perspective he has.
    Donna Sullivan: “I would ask those who oppose stem cell research to imagine themselves in a situation where they are dependent on someone else to eat, manually empty their bladder and bowels (Yep, you read that right), bathe, brush their teeth and more. So many people and places become inaccessible.”
    Donna, many opponents of ESCR don’t HAVE to imagine. The ESCR lobby likes to pretend that ESCR opponents have led these charmed lives, free of disease, heartbreak, and the deaths of loved ones. Many of the people who oppose ESCR on ethical grounds DO suffer from these afflictions, but realize that destroying others in a well-intentioned quest to find a cure is not a solution. ADULT stem cells have caused paralysis patients to regain control of their execretory system; were you aware of that? You engage in a straw-man argument when you allege that people oppose all stem-cell research, when they, in fact, support adult stem-cell research, which is proving to be far more practical and far less dangerous. THAT, Donna, is how adult stem cells had their alleged “head start”: because they’re far easier to isolate and control than are embryonic stem cells, whose pluripotency (i.e. instability) causes them to become tumors.
    “Individuals who oppose this research should do their homework…Clearly, if you understood the science you would see how wrong you are.”
    Donna, I’ve “done my homework.” I oppose ESCR on ethical and scientific grounds, not religious ones. I don’t quote the Bible when I write on this issue; I quote from encyclopedia entries and biology textbooks. When one “understands the science,” (s)he learns that a new human being’s life begins at the moment of fertilization.
    You emotionalize the issue, which is understandable. I’d like you, though, to look at a child who was adopted as a human embryo, and explain to that child (and his/her adoptive) parents that it would have “served society better” if (s)he had been killed for embryonic stem-cell research (while still an embryo) rather than given a chance to be born. See what response you get.
    And check out some of the advances being made with adult stem cells, while you’re at it:
    http://www.donmargolis.com.

  25. JoAnna, I appreciate the links but take issue with them. The first one is a post by Dr. Healy. Dr. Healy has expressed her confidence in the newly appointed head of the NIH, Dr. Francis Collins. Appointed by Pres. Obama, Dr. Collins is considered a remarkable scientist who considers himself a devoted Christian.
    http://discovermagazine.com/2007/feb/interview-francis-collins
    It says…..
    “A devoted Christian, Collins defends evolution and embryonic stem cell research in his new book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press, 2006). He dismisses religious extremists and scientist-atheists as equally shrill and believes that both sides push their beliefs on a public who prefers that science and religion remain separate.”
    Reviewing a number of articles Dr. Healy has posted, leads me to believe she has a religious slant which clouds her science. Dr. Collins who is working with current research therapies does not.
    Here is some additional info which summarizes Dr. Healy very well.
    Dr. Healy asserts that lifting the ban on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research will be a complex endeavor, eventually requiring Congress to set the parameters for permissible derivation of stem cells from human embryos, her article is blantantly politically skewed and misleading.
    First, the Israeli study published in PLoS Medicine used human fetal neural stem cells, not embryonic stem cells. What is so alarming about Dr. Healy’s oversight is that the title of the study, “Donor-Derived Brain Tumor Following Neural Stem Cell Transplantation in an Ataxia Telangiectasia Patient,” explicity states the use of neural stem cells, and a quick skimming of the abstract reveals the use of fetal neural stem cells, not embryonic stem cells.
    Furthermore, Dr. Healy expresses concern over the safety of Geron’s clinical trials recently approved by the FDA. However, Geron submitted evidence of the safety, tolerability and efficacy of GRNOPC1 to the FDA in a 21,000-page IND application that described 24 separate animal studies requiring the production of more than five billion GRNOPC1 cells. Included in the safety package were studies that showed no evidence of teratoma formation 12 months after injection of clinical grade GRNOPC1 into the injured spinal cord of rats and mice. Other studies documented the absence of significant migration of the injected cells outside the spinal cord, allodynia induction (increased neuropathic pain due to the injected cells), systemic toxicity or increased mortality in animals receiving GRNOPC1. The FDA reviewed Geron’s IND application for several years and requested additional data on the risks of teratoma formation, which Geron provided to the FDA’s satisfaction. Dr. Healy neglects to address the fact that Phase I clinical trials are intended only to test the safety, not the efficacy, of new medical treatments. Geron’s study is intended to reveal more information on the safety concerns expressed by Dr. Healy.
    Last, Dr. Healy implies that Dr. James Thomson is abandoning human embryonic stem cell research to focus solely on iPS cell research. Nothing could be further from the truth. When directly asked how he thought the discovery of iPS cells would affect the political debate over stem cell research, Dr. Thomson replied, “Well, what I hope will not happen is that everybody says, ‘See? We don’t have to do embryonic stem cell research now.’” Dr. Healy is doing precisely what Dr. Thomson cautioned against. Furthermore, Dr. Thomson stated that with respect to iPS cell research, “This may not be the end of the story. These pluripotent cells may not be perfectly like embryonic stem cells. We don’t know yet.”
    Dr. Healy’s article is clearly politically motivated and designed to further confuse and mislead the public. As a doctor of medicine, Dr. Healy should instead be committed to providing the public with accurate and objective information on medicine and technology.
    written by Daisy Manning of MO @ Mar 04, 2009 20:09:03 PM
    JoAnn, please check your resources prior to posting. Postings like this are exactly why people are confused and have a difficult time understanding the issues. It’s not helpful to individuals trying to advance promising therapies. The therapy you misrepresent, could be the one you need tomorrow.

  26. Thomson also said that “if the thought of embryonic stem cell research doesn’t trouble you a little bit, you haven’t thought about it enough.”

  27. Donna,
    Do you have a link for what treatment you were refering to when you said ‘if your son was a rat, he’d be walking’?

  28. ADULT stem cells have caused paralysis patients to regain control of their execretory system; were you aware of that?
    Show me the research. Don Margolis is a fraud. He has a business related to adult stem cells. He cliams to cure all using them. He doesn’t want a dialogue. Many have tried. I have many times. My posts never make it to his blogs. It’s a one way conversation with him. It’s easier to mislead people that way.
    Any clinic claiming to treat various types of conditions and diseases with stem cell injections is bogus. Every condition and disease is unique and there isn’t a one fix cures all. He prays on vulnerable people and throws religion in the mix. If his therapy was that good, he’d be selling it all over the world. This guy is bad news.

  29. Donna,
    What is confusing to me is: why do you not place the same hope in adult stem cell research as you do in embryonic stem cell research? If what you want is a cure, why do you seem to be aligning yourself against the potential of adult stem cells? You’re pointing out flaws, making accusations of fraud, and discrediting researchers based upon their religious beliefs. If your hope is in potential, then why not equally place your hope in the potential of both sorts?
    My guess is that your argument is more politically/ideologically motivated than you realize or want to admit.

  30. Bravo Gregg, Bravo!
    Thank you for doing this! I recently had the pleasure of going with Bud, Don & Royce to Yuba College where we engaged the students in conversations around the signs they have. We weren’t debating any Rock Stars, but we did have some amazing conversations with a number of students and even a few faculty members.
    I believe that the use of graphic images, especially on college campuses, is exactly what is needed to shock people out of their complacency. For too long abortion has been allowed to happen as people simply refuse to acknowledge what is being done.
    Thank you for all you have been doing to move this cause forward!

  31. bmmg39 – The link you provide talks about Carlos Limas therapy using nasal stem cells. This therapy has been around for some time. It was all the talk when my son was first injured. It has yet to be approved by the FDA. I believe there is some research in the Detroit area being done with these cells. I hope they work. they may for some and not others.
    Spinal cord injuries are all different. Depending upon where the injury is and amount of damage, different therapies are required. Many people with neurological conditions require neuron replacement. Some levels of spinal cord injury do. There isn’t one adult stem cell that has shown any potential to do this. Embryonic stem cells have.
    It’s confusing because some people will see some recovery with the aggressive rehab. People will sign up for a bogus stem cell program and begin an aggressive rehab regime and viola, they regain some function. Was it the therapy or the rehab? Someone who has had Dr. Lima’s therapy with the same level of injury as my son has, claimed it worked. She could walk using long leg braces and a walker. So could my son after switching to a more aggressive rehab program. No injections, just hard work. Unfortunately, no amount of rehab will repair his neurons. We must turn to science for that.
    Laura, I’m not committed to one type of stem cell therapy. That would be shortsighted. We have the potential to learn from all types of stem cell research. There currently are clinical trials going on using umbilical cord blood cells. ALL types of stem cells should be explored.
    For now, it has been PROVEN, there is potential for recovery from neurological diseases and disorders using embryonic stem cells. Millions are hoping it is as successful in clinical trials as it is in the lab.
    Again, people need to do their homework. If you choose to ignore the facts, so be it. This is my last post. I’ve posted plenty for people to review. If you are really interested in this research, do your homework. If you choose to criticize scientists who work with embryonic stem cells, I think you’re wrong. You are ignoring the facts.
    IVF leads to leftover blastocysts. Why would we throw them away if they have the potential to heal people? Hans Keistead is doing some great work and has tremendous support form a number or organizations seeking a cure for a variety of neurological conditions.

  32. As far as I know, no one is against stem cell research. We do oppose embryonic stem cell research, which is only one kind. Please provide links to show how ESC has helped people with paralysis, or other disorders. I have not heard or read of any real gains in that department, but I can’t cover everything and would be interested to know what amazing cures they’ve found through ESC.
    I love this argument. “Hey, there are no major medical finds from research that has been banned until recently, that means the research itself is bad!” Embyronic stem cell research is still a nascent field of study, held back moreso by 8 years of a knuckle-dragging bible thumper of a president who wanted to keep his base (read: other knuckle-dragging bible thumpers) happy by banning federal research money and other resources from being used on it.
    Don’t even remotely compare yourself to an intelligent or sane person.
    Uh huh. This coming from someone who literally thinks embyros should be given human rights. Any sane person would laugh in your face at the stupidity of your beliefs.
    “American Taliban”? Let’s see, now. One group of people believe it is wrong to destroy human beings for medical research, and that more ethical, more promising avenues of research should be favored. The second group believes that women should be stoned to death for wearing short sleeves. Now Ian comes along and puts the two groups on a par. Quite the sense of perspective he has.
    You know what? You’re right. They’re not on par with one another. The American Taliban is worse. The other group is living in caves in a 3rd world country, permanently stuck 1000 years in the past. But Americans I’d expect more from. Your ignorance has no excuses.
    Many of the people who oppose ESCR on ethical grounds DO suffer from these afflictions
    Including the biggest, most heart-breaking affliction of all: terminal stupidity. “Don’t destroy frozen, microscopic embryos just to do research that could help me walk again! That’s unethical!” They can go roll off a cliff in their wheelchairs for all I care, but the problem is that this kind of mindset is harming people who would benefit from this new science who aren’t insane.
    Donna, I’ve “done my homework.” I oppose ESCR on ethical and scientific grounds, not religious ones.
    Okay, Dr. bmmg39, PhD–if that’s how you feel, don’t participate in any embryonic stem cell research–if you want to live in the 1950’s, be my guest, but don’t try and drag the rest of us back with you.
    You know, I think the American Taliban descriptor is really apt for you and those of your ilk. Your sister organization, that other Taliban, wants to behead people, but hey, if they screw up and can only paralyze someone from the neck down but leave the head intact, their American counterparts will be playing interference to make sure that at least they never walk again.

  33. Hi Ian.
    You don’t really seem to be addressing any arguments put forth against h-ESR. In fact, your caricature of those opposed to h-ESCR as only putting forth religious reasons for their beliefs shows how unfamiliar you are with any sort of argument against h-ESCR. I would be happy to outline the secular case against h-ESCR for you if you are willing to engage in a rational, civilized discussion.

  34. Wow, Jill. This post is just bringing all the trolls to the yard. And they got here so fast, too! I’m suspecting a link on an anti-life site somewheres.

  35. Donna: “The link you provide talks about Carlos Limas therapy using nasal stem cells. This therapy has been around for some time. It was all the talk when my son was first injured. It has yet to be approved by the FDA.”
    Yeah, yeah, yeah…”yet to be approved by the FDA.” This is the fall-back argument by those who believe it demonstrates a therapy either doesn’t exist (which you’re obviously not arguing here) or that it doesn’t work. Certainly you understand that FDA approval must be preceded by human trials. And certainly you can understand that, while every injury is different and we must continue to explore various avenues of research, those avenues must be ethical and not involve the destruction of human beings.
    “IVF leads to leftover blastocysts. Why would we throw them away if they have the potential to heal people?”
    If you were as attentive to facts and this issue as you claimed you are, Donna, you would already know that no one is arguing that embryonic human beings should be “thrown away.” Many DO argue that the United States should adopt the IVF policies of some other nations — Italy, for example — and only create as many embryos as we intend to implant, rather than adhere to the policy of hyperproduction as we do now…and that embryo adoption should receive more support and promotion than it does now. Funny how the same people who support IVF or having someone else donate sperm or donate eggs or having a surrogate mom or whatever other fertility treatments exist then turn around and refer to embryo adoption as “crazy.”

  36. Okay, wow. I absolutely must say something to some of this idiocy ian’s spouting (thinking he’s smart, too, which is pretty sad).
    “Embyronic stem cell research is still a nascent field of study, held back moreso by 8 years of a knuckle-dragging bible thumper of a president who wanted to keep his base (read: other knuckle-dragging bible thumpers) happy by banning federal research money and other resources from being used on it.”
    LOL. This may come as a shock to you, ian, but the US is not the only country in the world that has scientists. Even more shocking, there are scientists in other nations who did eSCR during Bush’s tenure (there are scientists here who did it to, but I imagine that point is beyond your poor mental faculties). No research using embryonic stem cells, from anyone, anywhere, in the whole world has ever cured anything. At all. Ever.
    Guess what embryonic stem cells do instead of curing you? Grow out of control causing horrible tumors that are practically impossible to kill and can’t be stopped from growing. The quotes from the first link on the Parkinson’s trial really kind of sum it up. “Devastating,” “tragic,” “catastropic,” “nightmare.” eSCR has not only never cured anyone, but it’s caused such horrible suffering that researchers couldn’t continue with their trials.
    “Including the biggest, most heart-breaking affliction of all: terminal stupidity. ‘Don’t destroy frozen, microscopic embryos just to do research that could help me walk again! That’s unethical!’ They can go roll off a cliff in their wheelchairs for all I care, but the problem is that this kind of mindset is harming people who would benefit from this new science who aren’t insane.”
    Wow, that’s not ablist at all. Nope, no prejudice from you. You’re just the paragon of enlightenment.
    It may come as another shock to you, but a fractional majority of Americans these days are pro-life, and if current trends are maintained, that percentage will continue to increase. You are not on the side of science, good philosophy, reason, equality, or even numbers. And while watching you run around thinking that you are is terribly amusing, in a pathetic sort of way, you’re just making yourself look like a bigger and bigger idiot with every post you make.

  37. Ian: “I love this argument. ‘Hey, there are no major medical finds from research that has been banned until recently, that means the research itself is bad!’ Embyronic stem cell research is still a nascent field of study, held back moreso by 8 years of a knuckle-dragging bible thumper of a president who wanted to keep his base (read: other knuckle-dragging bible thumpers) happy by banning federal research money and other resources from being used on it.”
    Listen up, tool: embryonic research was never “banned;” in fact, Bush the alleged “Bible-thumper” allocated nearly hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars to it (see my earlier comment about the “underappreciated” joke of a claim). If only my credit-card company would issue me such a “ban.” Do try to learn the actual history of an issue so that you don’t humiliate yourself even more than you already have. And you may wish to explain whether or not you believe a majority of Americans opposes ESCR — since you’re arguing that Bush limited (again, not “banned”) federal funding for “political reasons.”
    “Uh huh. This coming from someone who literally thinks embyros should be given human rights. Any sane person would laugh in your face at the stupidity of your beliefs.”
    You possess neither sanity nor even a sixth-grade education, sadly. Go seek out a biology or embryology textbook and then come crawling back to us. If necessary, get a 13-year-old to help you with the big words.
    “You know what? You’re right. They’re not on par with one another. The American Taliban is worse. The other group is living in caves in a 3rd world country, permanently stuck 1000 years in the past. But Americans I’d expect more from. Your ignorance has no excuses.”
    Beautiful job you’re doing here of not addressing any actual arguments. But such is the way of contemptibly stupid trolls.
    “Okay, Dr. bmmg39, PhD–if that’s how you feel, don’t participate in any embryonic stem cell research.”
    You don’t need to worry about that, Zsa Zsa. We’ll stick with the ethical research that’s helping people to live free of the symptoms of their diseases, while you’re getting injected with unstable cells that will cause tumors to proliferate in your body — all to make a political point that you’d rather destroy human embryos than pursue research that actually works. We’ll hold a candlelight vigil every year, while we read from your entry in THE DARWIN AWARDS.
    “You know, I think the American Taliban descriptor is really apt for you and those of your ilk. Your sister organization, that other Taliban, wants to behead people, but hey, if they screw up and can only paralyze someone from the neck down but leave the head intact, their American counterparts will be playing interference to make sure that at least they never walk again.”
    Funny how I gave you a chance to back away from one of the most patently stupid things ever written in human history, and you instead just charged boldly forward into the annals of idiocy. We’re getting the crown inscribed over the weekend, You’ll have it by Monday.

  38. Thanks Keli Hu and bmmg39 for pointing out that ESCR has not been banned and has continued. I’m not sure how ‘federal dollars’ suddenly makes scientific research ‘real’ when pharmaceutical companies who saw potential have been funding it all along.
    If ESCR has been showing so much potential in the lab, why has California, who spent $3 billion on research, decided to pursue ASCR instead? If they had seen progress, wouldn’t they continue to investigate that? Surely it’s not cause they’re part of the ‘Bible Belt’ is it?

  39. Embryonic stem-cell research has nothing of value to show so far.
    Posted by: Vita at April 22, 2010 9:35 AM
    What are you talking about?
    Plenty of researchers are able to make payments on their summer homes and fund their pensions from the grant money they get.
    No value. Take a look at their bank accounts. That is where you will find the value.
    Research in the US is as often as not is just welfare for the over educated. We are at a point of diminishing return because we fund every hair brained research project. Some secular sites I frequent posit that so many worthless projects get funded because grant writers have a strong verbal facility. Think of them as the used car salesmen of science. Their ability to wow foundations with their grant proposals far outstrips their abilities in their scientific fields. Plenty of people in science complain that the political correctness in science combined with the fact that those funding science are more interested in political agendas than discovering scientific truths is really stifling progress.
    In the old days, alchemy was all the rage and had many prominent benefactors. Embryonic stem cell research is just one of the latest iterations of alchemy.

  40. Anybody who is stupid enough to put the wellbeing of a microscopic embryo above his own survival definitely should be weeded out of the gene pool anyway. Good riddance. My only problem is when you and the rest of the American Taliban try to force your moronic beliefs on sane people who are living in the 21st century… like me.
    Posted by: ian at April 22, 2010 5:47 PM
    He, he. Ian obviously missed the thread demonstrating this forum’s considerable reproductive fitness. Prolifers won’t be weeded out of the gene pool anytime soon. Rather the

  41. Hey ian.
    Next time the ‘pro-lifers’ gather somewhere you be sure and join them and don’t forget your camera. Be sure get photos of all the oppressed women dressed from head to toe in robins egg blue clothing and bomb toting and firearm packing men.
    We want to see your photographic evidence of talibanesgue tyrants in america today.
    yor bro ken

  42. In response to bmmg39 posts –
    He/she said “You emotionalize the issue, which is understandable.”
    I’m not emotional, I’m rational. I see potential for recovery for millions of people suffering with neuro conditions. I have decided to turn a difficult situation into one that has value. I will support the advancement of all legitimate curative therapies. I’ll support adult and embryonic stem cell research and other therapies which show potential for recovery.
    He/she said, “I’d like you though, to look at a child who was adopted as a human embryo, and explain to that child (and his/her adoptive) parents that it would have “served society better” if (s)he had been killed for embryonic stem-cell research (while still an embryo) rather than given a chance to be born. See what response you get.”
    You use the terms parents and babies. These are cells which haven’t even figured out what to become and they don’t have parents. If you are truly interested in “saving” them, you should work to find parents for them. The longer they sit in IVF clinics, the less viable they are for any use. The longer the muscles of someone with paralysis waits for recovery, the more difficult the recovery will be. Time is not on the side of the leftover embryos or the paralyzed muscles.
    Look at the numbers of people willing to “adopt” an embryo, compared to the number of embryos sitting in IVF clinics.
    The most quoted figure is that there are 400,000 frozen embryos stored in fertility clinics nationwide. 400,000 – remember that. 400,000
    What happens to leftover embryos? Educate yourself.
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/231697
    From another article, “Snowflakes program had received about 750 of them (embryos)and had matched 70 donor couples with 48 other couples seeking to have children. Sixteen babies had been born.”
    So without emotion, but using the facts –
    THERE ARE MORE LEFTOVER EMBRYOS THAN THERE ARE TAKERS. 750 adopted, 400,000 available.
    The result is leftover embryos are either labeled medical waste and destroyed, OR may be donated for use in the search for curative therapies. Easy call for me.
    So….if those who seek to save the embryos, really want to have an impact. They should be signing up to adopt and support these embryos.
    Please explain to me why it’s OK to dispose of them, but not use them for research?
    Are you for IVF even though it results in leftover embryos?
    Do you think couples should have access to IVF therapy?
    Do you believe in the effort of the Snowflakers? If so, have you adopted or tried to find someone to adopt an embryo? Saving an embryo from the waste bin is a far more moral endeavor to undertake than trying to block science which has the potential to restore life.
    The FACT is, as a result of IVF therapies, hundreds of thousands of embryos will never become more than a small group of cells. They do however, have the potential to save the life of someone surviving a devastating condition or disease.

  43. Donna,
    THREE BILLION (California) DOLLARS could go a long way in providing healthcare for uninsured Americans. At a time when the State of CA is BROKE, which sounds like a better investment – Research with “potential” or the many programs which would help the people of CA?
    Is this really about money and prestige?

  44. Janet, the estimated costs associated with those living with spinal cord injuries is $7.736 billion PER YEAR.
    http://www.campaignforcure.org/iccp/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=28
    Add to that the numerous other conditions and diseases this research relates to and any logical person can see the value in pursing curative therapies. So for those of you that make the argument that this is not money well spent, you haven’t done your homework. You should also consider the physical and emotional impact the numerous conditions and diseases have those surviving it and their families.

  45. Well, look who’s back. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen someone “leave” a board and stay off for good. But whatever.
    Donna Sullivan: “I’m not emotional, I’m rational.”
    As am I.
    “I see potential for recovery for millions of people suffering with neuro conditions.”
    As do we.
    “These are cells which haven’t even figured out what to become and they don’t have parents.”
    I avoid the word “babies” when discussing embryos, not so much because it’s completely inaccurate, but rather because people picture a newborn in swaddling clothes and mistakenly assume I’m suggesting that embryos are merely miniature versions of those. I’m not. But human beings they absolutely are, and, yes, they absolutely have parents. These aren’t random masses of cells we’re discussing here.
    “The most quoted figure is that there are 400,000 frozen embryos stored in fertility clinics nationwide. 400,000 – remember that. 400,000”
    — the most misquoted number in science. There are NOT “400,000” embryos lying idly in storage, just waitin’ to be destroyed. The vast majority of embryos currently living in frozen limbo in U.S. fertility clinics are reserved for FUTURE ATTEMPTS AT PREGNANCY — more than 88% of them, in fact:
    http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9038/index1.html
    It’s simply not true that we have some sort of huge stockpile of hundreds of thousands of embryos jumping at the chance to be dissected in order to find a cure for ALS.
    “Please explain to me why it’s OK to dispose of them, but not use them for research?”
    More straw man from you. Who here has said it is okay to dispose of them?
    “Are you for IVF even though it results in leftover embryos? Do you think couples should have access to IVF therapy?”
    Reread my comments from earlier. The U.S. should follow the lead of those nations (e.g. Italy) that do not allow the creation of any more embryos than one intends to implant. It isn’t IVF that troubles me (and others). It’s the practice of creating 14 embryos for one couple, choosing the “best” two, and then dumping the other twelve embryonic human beings down the garbage disposal. I am an animal lover and I find that philosophy horrific enough if the subject were goldfish or sea monkeys; it takes on a whole new dynamic when the subject is one’s own offspring.

  46. bmmg39 –
    Fact-
    Leftover blastocysts are being destroyed. There aren’t enough parents for them. So given the FACT that we have leftover blastocysts, why is it wrong to use them for curing conditions and diseases?
    Fact-
    Embryonic research doesn’t require an embryo for each treatment. Scientists make “lines” from one stem cell. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent.
    More reading for you here….
    http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=14525
    FACT – You haven’t volunteered to “adopt” all the unwanted blastocysts so there will continue to be an ample supply for research purposes.
    I have a difficult time time understanding why you take issue with Hans Keirstead. He is using blastocysts which would otherwise be discarded. If you are concerned about them being discarded, shouldn’t you be working to change the rules of IVF therapies? It appears your frustration is directed at the wrong person.
    Fact – I use my name when I make a statement, you do not.

  47. Donna,
    Hang around. You’ll find out that we disagree with the cause of “leftover” babies and are, almost to a person (the pro-lifers that is) opposed to IVF.

  48. “I see potential for recovery for millions of people suffering with neuro conditions. I have decided to turn a difficult situation into one that has value. I will support the advancement of all legitimate curative therapies. I’ll support adult and embryonic stem cell research and other therapies which show potential for recovery.”
    I have been working with students on saying what they mean and meaning what they say in simpler, clearer ways. The above paragraph could be simplified to:
    “I support the killing of humans because there is a slim chance that a cure for a human condition may be found as a result of these deaths.”

  49. Well I’m being educated so here’s my question. The embryonic cells that are available how are they being supplied? And if they think there is a link between autism and embryonic cells in immunizations why would they even consider using them. I have another question in some parts of the world people eat there dead and they end up with a disease that is not good for the brain. Question is there a difference between introducing embryonic cells into the body and people eating their dead. So do the majority of embryonic cells come from umbilical cords or from dead babies? I also read there is some research that there is something available that does not involve using embryonic stem cells. Anyone familiar with that study. Donna I will pray for your son my son had leukemia has been in remission for nine years. Has a history of hyperthyroidism is currently in remission. Since he was ten has stopped walking 3 times. Is presently walking and loves school. He does have Wilson’s Disease which is genetic and juvenile dermatomyocitis. You don’t mention if you are a Christian so I don’t won’t to offend you by offering to pray for your son. If it doesn’t offend you let me know and I will pray not only for his complete recovery mind, body, and soul but also that therapies that do not involve embryonic stem cells to be made available to you. Blessings to you in your role as advocate, mom and probably caregiver to your son. Blesssings, continued strength to do the right thing and joy when you need it most. Something else that is good is to call the 700 club for prayer. 1-800-759-0700

  50. Hi Myrtle.
    “The embryonic cells that are available how are they being supplied?”
    It depends. Probably most of them were originally derived from an embryo that was made during the IVF process. At around 8 days old, a cell of the embryo (hence an embryonic stem cell) is removed from the embryo, killing it. Scientists are then able to “immortalize” this stem cell by allowing it to continue to reproduce itself indefinitely (I don’t know how this part of the science works). Hence, once you have that stem cell from that embryo, you can “use” it as often as you like. That is most likely where most embryonic stem cells come from.
    However, it is also possible that it could be a stem cell from a cloned embryo. There was a paper in November of 2008 by California scientists who claimed to have cloned an embryo. This is what scientists NEED to be able to do, BTW, in order to have any hope of success with embryonic stem cell research.
    “And if they think there is a link between autism and embryonic cells in immunizations why would they even consider using them”
    Scientists are not ethicists. When it comes down to it, I am sure many of them will (and do) bend their knee to Molech and sacrifice human life for the almighty dollar.
    “So do the majority of embryonic cells come from umbilical cords or from dead babies?”
    Neither. An embryonic stem cell is a stem cell that is taken from an embryo. Umbilical cord stem cells are what are called adult stem cells (even though they aren’t from an adult) and umbilical cord therapys are not mortally problematic. Harvesting stem cells from dead babies (aborted babies) is something different. If the baby is aborted, he is always far enough along where his stem cells are not embryonic. I think only after around 14 days after fertilization does the embryo lose its embryonic stem cells because they have become a different kind of cell. They, embryonic stem cells come from a human being who was conceived less than around 14 days ago. Hope that helps. God love you.

  51. I googled Molech and the article says Josiah put an end to worship practice of Molech. I recognized the name Molech but the article goes into a lot of detail. It says that drums were played to silence the cry of children sacrificed to him. My guess is that the beating of drums in this day and age would be those that support him knowingly. So I like to pray about things. Dear God (the God Of Life). Please help Molech to reconsider the ways of death and repent if not shrink him to the size of a life and he knows the rest. And may the beating of the drums cease so that the cries of innocent unborn babies may be heard. And Lord if Molech does repent help Molech to use the knowledge he has to do real good and not bad.

  52. Myrtle,
    I just use the phrase “bend the knee to Molech” to mean that they put other gods before them, rather than living their lives according to the law of the one true God of the universe. I believe that people used to sacrifice children to Molech, so the phrase is quite apropos to use when discussing both abortion and human escr.

  53. To Jacqueline:
    IVF isn’t wrong. What is wrong is when we discard unwanted innocent children. Why are you upset with Gregg C. for saying we are not against IVF? Why do you think that IVF should be banned? Why not just regulate it better?

  54. I had a dream……
    The Lord made his way through the enormous crowd and shouted “Who will adopt these unused embryos?” A few replied, “I will!” And the Lord smiled and said “Wonderful! Now what shall we do with the others? There are thousands sitting in labs losing their viability for implantation with the setting of each sun.”
    A few scientists, led by the Director of the NIH proclaimed, “They have the potential to end suffering around the world. We will use our talents to help our brothers and sisters who are destined for an early death without our help.”
    And the Lord responded, “You are to be commended. If people around our table were suffering from hunger, we would not throw our food away. People are suffering and your science has put a value on what would otherwise be discarded.”
    And the Lord turned to the crowd and said, “You who cast stones at scientists working to alleviate suffering, why do you complain? Will more of you adopt these cells before they wither in the labs?”
    “Not I”, said kbhvac.
    “Not I”, said Peg (Cunningham Dolson).
    “Not I”, said Gregg Cunningham
    “Not I”, said Ed.
    “Not I”, said RSD.
    “Not I”, said bmmg39.
    “Not I”, said Phil Schembri is HisMan, as he reflected on his gender.
    “Not I”, said Jacqueline.
    “Not I”, said Heather M.
    “Not I”, said JoAnna
    “Not I”, said Hippie.
    “Not I”, said Vita.
    “Not I”, said Janet.
    “Not I”, said Praxedes.
    “Not I”, said Myrtle Miller.
    “Not I”, said Bobby Bambino.
    The Lord looked at those who refused to help and said, “Then you should leave the scientists alone. Go now. You have decided to complain and not help in a meaningful way.”
    Donna Sullivan handed them information which would guide them down the path to saving the embryos they are so concerned about.
    http://www.nightlight.org/adoption-services/snowflakes-embryo/default.aspx

  55. Thanks for the info Donna. I have never heard of nightlight, will be talking with my husband and passing this to others who may be interested as well.
    I had a dream that after Donna woke up from her dream she realized she could no longer support others creating more and more embyos because we realize that so many unborn and born humans need homes already. I went on to pass on information that could help Donna learn more about where to begin her advocacy plans
    http://www.catholicinsight.com/online/church/vatican/article_475.shtml
    Donna went on to advocate for stopping these acts of selfism and our laws once again became Life Affirming.
    I won’t bring Our Lord into my dream because that would just be very Wrong.

  56. HI Donna.
    I’m not quite sure where you’re getting any sort of idea that I (or any of the people you attacked for that matter) haven’t or will never adopt an embryo. Suppose I have adopted several. Would that all of a sudden make it immoral to experiment on them? Suppose that I have adopted none or will never adopt any. Does it then follow that it is moral to experiment on them? Your above is an ad homium argument, which tries to deduce morality based on the behaviour of those who are either for or against a certain action. How does it follow that if I will not adopt an embryo then I should “leave scientists alone”? Suppose I will never lift a finger to help women who are abused in marriages. Does it follow that I can’t speak out against violence against women? Suppose I never contribute a dime to the fight against breast cancer. Does it then follow that I can’t say that I wish breast cancer was eraticated? Of course not. Your argument assumes that the embryo is not worthy of life and hence can be experimented on. The claim of the pro-lifer is that the embryo has dignity and moral worth and hence, can never be killed no matter what good will come of it. Thus, that claim needs to be addressed.
    Finally, I am not even convinced that it is morally permissible to adopt and implant these embryos. They should never have been created in the first place, and there may be no morally licit solution to the problem of “leftover” embryos.

  57. Guilt and sympathy just don’t work with me. Babies are being exploited and what God created for good people are choosing to exploit to further their own dreams. And there is always an exception to every rule. But you don’t build good science or laws around exceptions. Now take that and make it look as harsh as you choose too but exploiting babies and what belongs to their personhood in my opinion is just a tad bit harsher.

  58. Donna-
    I like the story of the little red hen she had a serious work ethic and was surrounded by a few dead beats. But what she worked with was honest. And she got to choose what she worked with. As an American I still get to choose based on my personal beliefs not someone elses, what I will work with and what I will not work with. No one else gets to choose it for me. That’s why I think pro-lifers are the real pro-choicers they include the babies choice as well.

  59. I don’t think God would see anything wrong with adopting embryos. He is the God of life. If God put it on my heart to adopt an embryo and the resources to do that I would. I just wish that people with a wonderful intellect could see past themselves and before interfering with God’s work would ask themselves how their ideas will really affect the lives of others. Once I bought a product for my hair and something prompted me to see what it was made of and it was made of puppy embryos. It was returned to the store. That’s heart sense, it’s not enough to have intelli-sense a soul should also have heart sense.

  60. @Donna: You know, I had some sympathy for you. Close family member is very ill, that’s tough.
    That “story” there? You claiming to have a dream from God when really you’re just plagiarizing The Little Red Hen to try and say it’s okay to use human beings for experimentation because they aren’t people (gee, where have I heard that argument before…)? That story? Yeah, I’m pretty much done with the sympathy bit.

  61. Here’s the problem. As long as there is IVF, there will always be leftover blastocysts. Even if everyone who reads this blog adopts a blastocyst there will always be more than people will adopt.
    If your interested in going through this therapy, your going to need some substantial funding to do so. This isn’t cheap.
    So ask yourself, is it better to dispose of the leftover blastocysts or use them to help others live? Which scenario is more prolife? Few “prolifers” can reconcile that question.
    You should also know that many blastocysts are lost during the IVF process. So should IVF therapies be shut down completely?
    If you would like to work to reduce the number of leftover blastocysts, that’s understandable. But to advocate for blocking the science using those headed to the medical waste bin, is not prolife. This science has the potential to help people who are at risk of losing their life.
    Are there therapies yet that have reached the bedside using embryonic stem cells? No. But it’s moving closer to reality.
    Don’t you find it interesting that a group of people who are so committed to saving blastocysts aren’t sharing the information of the Snowflake babies? Glad I could help there.
    Regarding the Catholic link… I’ve been one my entire life. I’ve taught religion, worked in the schools and advocate for this science with many other Catholics. What’s your point?

  62. “So ask yourself, is it better to dispose of the leftover blastocysts or use them to help others live? Which scenario is more prolife? Few ‘prolifers’ can reconcile that question.”
    No. You want us not to be able to reconcile the question. The answer is simple. You may not use living human beings for research purposes without the consent of those people! Period! That’s why you have to be 18 (in most states) to participate in research studies. Since it is impossible for an embryo to give consent, and since the parents of these embryos are clearly not concerned with their welfare, any experimentation on them is immoral.
    You do not create a sub-class of human beings purely to kill them to service the class of “real” humans. That’s wrong on so many levels. This basic morality stuff here. It’s not complicated.

  63. Keli
    So how do you reconcile the first part of my reply which said….
    Here’s the problem. As long as there is IVF, there will always be leftover blastocysts. Even if everyone who reads this blog adopts a blastocyst there will always be more than people will adopt.

  64. From the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation-
    “A reasonable estimate is that 100,000 blastocysts are discarded every year from IVF clinics, mainly because couples do not wish to pay for continued storage after a successful pregnancy. Many scientists believe that using some of these blastocysts to supply small numbers of ES cells for research that could enhance human health is more ethical than simply throwing them away.”
    http://www.pdf.org/en/spring05_Stem_Cells

  65. “Regarding the Catholic link… I’ve been one my entire life. I’ve taught religion, worked in the schools and advocate for this science with many other Catholics. What’s your point?”
    Oops Donna, you’ve forgot an important word in a couple of your sentences that being, “I’ve been a ‘Cafeteria’ Catholic my entire life” and “with many other ‘Cafeteria’ Catholics.” You do know that just because you were born into a Catholic family doesn’t mean you have to remain Catholic your whole life right?
    Your question, “So should IVF therapies be shut down completely?” My short answer, “Yes.”
    Regarding Catholic education, I see your words ‘taught’ and ‘worked’ are past tense anyway. This comforts me somewhat.

  66. Donna says, “Phil Schembri is HisMan, as he reflected on his gender.”
    Donna, I could be wrong but I believe ‘HisMan’ may refer to Phil belonging to Christ and is not a reflection of Phil’s gender.
    If you’re reading this Phil, could you Phil us in? (: Thanks.

  67. What should we do with the leftover blastocysts while you work to shut down the IVF clinics? No one here has been able to answer that question. Each day that goes by that they are not implanted, they lose more of their viability.
    Scientists have found these cells to have the potential to save lives. Should we continue to discard them instead? How is that prolife?
    I’ve given anyone who comes to this board a number of links to help explain the hope this science holds. For those who chose to ignore this information, that’s your choice. No one will force curative therapies on you, should you need them.
    In the meantime, I see the value in cells destined to the medical waste bin. Hopefully, with the information I’ve provided, others will too.

  68. Donna,
    Since you’ve attempted to throw guilt on to others about adopting embyros, I’m sure you have or are in the process of embryo adoption yourself? Or are only those who are opposed to experimenting on them morally obligated to adopt them in your world?
    You think these embryos should be adopted so I am safe in assuming that you know they are human life or there would be no need to advocate for their adoption. When did it become ok to kill humans in the name of science and what are you doing to shut down the IVF clinics?
    “Scientists have found these cells to have the potential to save lives.” you state. Killing an abortionist has the potential (a much larger potential I may add) to save lives too. Do you advocate this? Jewish people in concentration camps were going to die anyway, would you have been one of the advocates who agreed to experiment on them?
    A human is a human is human. From conception to natural death.

  69. I’ve given anyone who comes to this board a number of links to help explain the hope this science holds. For those who chose to ignore this information, that’s your choice. No one will force curative therapies on you, should you need them.
    Donna,
    Bobby Bambino offered to make a secular argument against ESCR if Ian was interested, but Ian never came back. So who’s ignoring whom?

  70. Most of you have degrees right. Your arguments are so sound. I’m hoping to get a degree in renewable resourses. I’m struggling in math though. I’m hoping the light comes on and I excel in math and maybe go into politics. Pray for me. I am praying for you all. I go to U.L. in Lafayette, Louisiana. We had a pro-life speaker last semester. I missed her speech but was able to read about it. I guess that’s a blessing to go to a university that still allows freedom of speech right? God bless all of you. My dream is to teach at U.L. and go into politics or maybe get my degree and then go into politics. I would like to work at a state or Federal level in an advisory position on issues that effect our environment. God bless all of you in the sunshine and in the rain.

  71. some of the commentors in here need to read up on human development PRE BIRTH. These HUMAN EMBRYOS do NOT need to be destroyed. They are HUMAN beings at their earliest stages. ESCR will NEVER cure anything.
    And Donna, I took offense at your implying that GOD, the author of LIFE would be FINE with the destruction of human beings at their earliest stages to cure diseases. How many embryos would it take? 50? 500? 1 million?
    And one thing is, we need to STOP PLAYING GOD and help find the cause of infertility so these couples can conceive NATURALLY.
    Children used to be considered a GIFT and now they are being treated as a commodity. Scientists are creating designer babies in these labs! Parents don’t want babies with disabilities! They want blue eyes! They want this or that……..
    These human embryos if they were growing in a mother’s womb, are meant to grow into a full term infant, they are not meant to be destroyed to try to cure diseases, because they will NEVER cure diseases.
    Its amazing that CHINA, who destroys baby girls, is helping to cure people with diseases with ADULT STEM CELLS.

  72. Hey Myrtle.
    Keep up doing the math. I am finishing up a PhD in math and will be a professor of math at a liberal arts college in PA this fall, so feel free to talk math with me anytime! God love you.

  73. Liz-
    And in the process they lose probably the greatest gifts God has for them. My son has Downs’ and has had more illness in 19 years than most people experience in a life time. But presently he’s doing really well and just to hear him laugh is a plus for my day. Sometimes when I hear the sound arguments you all put forth for life I have to laugh because it brings relief to my mind that there are very intelligent people who are pro-life and I also laugh because it brings healing to my heart. The other day I was reading something and just had to laugh in agreement. My son who speaks very little started laughing too. We just had a good laugh. God bless all of you. Even his speech is improving!

  74. Donna, that’s just surreal that you would have a dream just a few nights ago that God interceded on your behalf in your argument with us. I had a dream I was playing miniature golf with Fred Rogers and my fourth-grade music teacher. I’ll see if I can tie that in here.
    I usually find it simply adorable when one of you comes into a venue like this and puts forth an argument that’s been refuted about eight hundred times, and yet presents it as though you’re the first to think of it. I wish I had a dime for every time someone asked how many human embryos or unborn children any of us has adopted. Let’s say you wish to speak out against battering one’s wife, husband, or children, and I asked exactly how many domestic violence victims you have opened your home to. If the answer were “none,” would that then justify domestic abuse, or would it render your arguments against DV completely moot?
    You keep asking what should be done with these “excess” embryos (no matter how many times your question is answered). The obvious answer is that they should all be adopted. Your response that this is unrealistic is no different from someone arguing, “Well, we’re only going to kill these homeless people, anyway. Wouldn’t it be better to use them for medical research than to allow them to ‘go to waste’?”
    Also, the argument isn’t one of adopting “cells.” An embryonic human being comprises cells, yes, just as you or I do, but that does not mean that an embryo is the same as a cell. I invite you, without a shred of irony or sarcasm, to learn more about this issue and about the people against it. You might just be surprised.

  75. bmmg39,
    “I had a dream I was playing miniature golf with Fred Rogers and my fourth-grade music teacher. I’ll see if I can tie that in here.”
    Thank you so much for a much-needed literal LOL!! Everyone’s in bed, but I think I woke them up.
    God Bless.

  76. What should we be done with the leftover blastocysts, while you work to shut down the IVF clinics?

  77. If I adopt an embryo, will you?
    I can’t adopt them all. We can only do the best we can do after others make selfish decisions. Unfortunately, selfism seems to outnumber what can be done. Did you ever notice that the people cleaning up along the roadsides are usually never the same people that made the mess in the first place?
    As you said, unfortunately many of these embryos die after a certain period of time. Before this happens, I do know what we Shouldn’t be doing with any of these embryos. In the meantime we can only do the best we can to stop IVF. Are you with us in helping to stop IVF or are you a supporter of this practice?
    Did this answer your question? How ’bout answering some of mine?
    You could start with whether you consider yourself Pro-Life?

  78. The fact is, there aren’t enough people to adopt them all. They will die if not implanted. Many will be disposed of. You have to accept that you will not change that. IVF is a therapy used all over the world.
    If you do want to be proactive and prolife, I’ve come up with some suggestions.
    1. Adopt an embryo. You obviously would have to be a female who is of child bearing age and has the funding to pursue this. If you’re a male or if you’re a female who is not of child bearing age, this isn’t an option. I included a link to an organization that can help you with this in a previous post.
    2. You could advocate for funding to assist couples who wish to adopt an embryo, but do not have the financial resources to do so. The person who operates this sight, collects a considerable amount of money in donations. I’m asking her to consider using some of the funds she collects, to help people who are interested in pursuing this.
    Here’s a link to the financials for her political action committee.
    http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/527/bornalivetruth.asp?rpg=2
    Most of it’s going to “one of the country’s leading full-service Republican political advertising firms”. That’s how they describe themselves. Learn about them here….
    http://www.sandler-innocenzi.com/
    The rest of it appears to go into public relations, legal fees and the like.
    Maybe funding blastocyst adoption would be a worthy goal. Not my decision. Just trying to come up with ideas.
    3. The other option is to use the leftover blastocysts to help the millions of people around the world suffering from various diseases and conditions. A relatively small number of blastocysts are required for research because they replicate. Hence, you hear the term, stem cell “lines”.
    These are the only three options I know of. I’ve asked the people on this blog to come up with other options and no one has come up with even one.
    Talk to each other, talk to your friends. Get the word out about adopting a blastocyst. You might find a person who would be interested in doing so. There are also about 123,000 foster children in this country looking for homes as well.

  79. Sorry Donna, but number 3 that you listed is not a Pro-Life option. If you are not understanding why, you could talk to members of your parish who believe in all of the Catholic church’s teachings not just the teachings that work best for themselves.
    In addition, Catholic and non-Catholic prolifers here have tried to explain this to you but you continue to exhibit comprehension issues on this topic. Along with my having to admit that IVF ‘therapy’ is used all over the world, I unfortunately also have to admit that I can’t change your comprehension deficiency.

  80. I know people will die without curative therapies. How does that fit into your equation?
    How do these babies fit into your equation?
    http://www.fsma.org/
    Working for curative therapies is prolife.
    There are not enough people to adopt the leftover blastocysts. What do you suggest people do with them?
    Let them die?
    Dispose of them?
    No one seems to have an answer.
    Attacking me or quoting from a Catholic site isn’t an answer for what to do with these leftover cells.

  81. Donna,
    “Working for curative therapies is prolife.” Agreed.
    Working for curative therapies is prolife UNLESS you kill or advocate the killing of other human beings in the process. This should go without saying but it is obvious not everyone understands this.
    You state that these embryos are human life, you advocate their adoption but then you also advocate experimenting on them to benefit your own cause. No matter how you want to rationalize this, yours is an example of selfism to its fullest.
    It was wrong for humans to put these embryos where they are in the first place. It is wrong to experiment on them or advocate experimenting with them. It is impossible to adopt them all so they should be allowed to die naturally given the most dignity possible (maybe you could use a word that shows more dignity for human life than ‘dispose’ but this would be your choice of course.)
    There are answers to this atrocity. Just not the ones you want to hear. Stop all embryonic stem cell research and all IVF clinics. You don’t want to think about this because you support both.
    You ask for views but then state you are attacked. You are not a victim. Your views are sacrilegious and your fake dream is as well. You are not pro-life. Sorry if this makes you feel re-attacked but it is a fact and is not meant to attack you but an attempt to enlighten you.
    I am sorry for what you may be going through in your life but you are barking up the wrong tree if you are looking for others here to support extremely unethical behavior in the name of potentionally helping others.
    Don’t worry about answering the questions I asked you. I’ve answered them for you.

  82. Donna, Lucifer was one of God’s greatest creations, and after he decided to compete with God, he wanted to “enlighten” others to follow his web of half-truths. Misery loves company as they say. No matter how pragmatic or seductive your reasons for killing innocent pre-born human life, or how many you recruit to your way of thinking, there is no “safety in numbers” before the Throne of Judgment. There is no “Relative” Truth in the mind of God. He is not fooled by faux altruism.
    http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/politically-incorrect/embryonic-stem-cell-research/interview-with-father-tadeusz-pacholczyk-phd.html

  83. As a scientist working in the stem cell field I would just like to thank everyone for keeping the debate alive. While I am pro-hESC research, I think that controvery through non-violent means is good for both science and for knowledge. As long as both sides of the argument are open to thoughtful consideration of what the opposing side believes in and is trying to say, then there is something to learn.
    I am very open and responsive to what people have to say that are against hESC research because I want to truly understand what it is that they are against. Likewise, I would hope that people would want to learn more about the science from our part of the story without feeling like I am being personally attacked.
    I think that on this issue, as with many others, we should all agree to disagree, without slinging names back and forth. We are all adults here.

  84. Unless we agree with Donna and adopt an embryo, Donna states the Lord told her in a dream that we “should leave the scientists alone” but you are a scientist in this field who hopes people want to learn more about the science from your part of the story.
    I agree to disagee that there is anything left for me to learn here.
    Peace.

  85. I find it incredibly interesting – and telling – that the comments in favor of Dr. Heirstead’s “research” are, in virtually every case, willing to simply look past the issue at hand and make an emotional appeal to “saving lives.” The ISSUE isn’t science. The ISSUE is the HUMANITY of the “subjects” on which science conducts their experiments. The parallel and comparison to genocide is all the more accurate and justified the more these people refuse to acknowledge the humanity of a certain class of their fellow man.
    Watch Worse Than War by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, and tell me this is isn’t PRECISELY what is going on here.

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