Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why I support stem-cell research

George W Bush is set to veto a bill passed by Senators which would increase funding of embryonic stem cell research. In fact, this will be the first time Bush has used his veto pen.

Hard to believe that for all the lousy bills that Congress has sent the president's way, he never saw fit to veto anything until now. Bush has his reasons, of course. However, like most of the President's choices, this one is seeped in judgment and bad science.

Bush claims that stem cell research is immoral and that it undermines the sanctity of human life. Hey, doesn't letting people die of diseases like diabetes and Parkinson's compromise on the value of human life? What am I missing here?

Stem cell research would have benefits to most families, including my own. My little brother Adam was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes (the bad kind) when he was six years old. Fastforward twenty years, and he's still taking insulin to manage his chronic illness. When I look at this picture (click to enlarge) of me and my brother (in blue) playing with his young son, Chase I am reminded why I feel so strongly in the promise of stem cell research.

Adam has fought gamely against diabetes pretty much his entire life. The idea of the illness taking it's long term toll on my brother is heartbreaking. No matter how well the disease is managed, many long-term diabetics face complications including blindness, organ failure, loss of limb, etc. Adam is only 28. The next twenty or thirty years could bring some relief to my brother, if not a cure. The idea of the president's political cowardice standing in the way of a cure for diabetes is sickening to me.

If George W. Bush had any real interest in preserving the sanctity of human life he might try ending executions in this country. Or stop sending Americans to die in Iraq. Or curb the numbers of Americans with no health insurance.

This issue is a political one. And until our politicians get their heads out of their asses, people like my brother will wait and suffer.

I am so mad right now I can't even see straight.

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