To the editor:
I just read the letter written by Michael W. Thies regarding stem-cell research and use. I normally don't respond to letters, but in this case I felt an obligation to the Trickey family to do so.
The fact is umbilical cords are also a source of stem cells. They are not obtained exclusively from aborted fetuses. I would be the first to say that if killing babies was the only way to get the stem cells, then it should be stopped immediately.
I think that before we make allegations with the demonic overtones this letter had, we should first do more research on the subject. Obviously the writer hasn't had a family member or loved one with this hideous disease. I've seen the horrible reality of ALS, and if the Chinese have a cure -- or at least the ability to slow the progress of the disease -- I applaud them and hope our country follows in China's footsteps.
I hope that Mr. Trickey continues to improve and that our medical community researches all the possibilities in treating ALS. Remember, ,just a short time ago the heart was considered hands off because it was considered to be very sacred. Thank God there were a few people who were open-minded enough to at least question the validity of open heart surgery. Good luck and Godspeed, Mr. Trickey.
J.L. SHAFER, Registered Nurse, Jackson