Letter to the Editor

Use tax funds only for ethical research

Friday, December 16, 2005

To the editor;

Recent media ads ask taxpayers to sign an initiative petition asking for a constitutional amendment allowing stem-cell research and treatment in Missouri. The ads fail to mention that the amendment would allow embryonic stem-cell research.

There is a difference between ethical research using adult stem cells that have successfully treated more than 60 diseases and injuries and unethical embryonic stem-cell research that destroys human life and has zero success in treating diseases.

There will always be private companies and researchers willing to fund legal embryonic stem-cell research. Why should taxpayers pay for unethical stem-cell research when studies show that embryonic stem cells are prone to genetic mutations, resulting in dangerous effects on patients treated with them? These mutations can transform normal cells into rapidly dividing cancer cells. Using embryonic stem cells would also result in the patient having to take anti-rejection medication for the rest of his life.

The Lancet, the British medical journal, labels as pure sensationalist hype claims from scientists that embryonic stem-cell research will soon result in cures for a host of diseases. They state that is will be a good 10 years before any safe or effective therapy might be found using embryonic stem cells.

I wish there wasn't unethical embryonic cell research being done, but if it will be done anyway, then at least let us not use our money to do it. Let's use our money to fund proven, ethical stem-cell research.