Killing the weak to heal the sick

I’d heard just about enough of the blather about a supposed “ban” on stem cell research, but John Edwards’ speech about helping the crippled to walk through embryo stem cell research pushed me over the edge.
In 2002 I published a Note (the term for an article by a law student … mine’s available below) on federal funding of human embryo stem cell research in Health Matrix, the health law journal at Case Western Reserve University. My article built on the reasoning of Scott Klusendorf, the most effective pro-life debater I know.
In that article I picked through peer-reviewed studies and the history of stem cell research, analyzed the state of applicable medical research law, and applied scientific and philosophical considerations to the debate. I conclusively demonstrated that federally funded human embryonic stem cell research is illegal, immoral, and unnecessary. To my knowledge, nothing significant has changed. There are no legal restrictions on privately funded stem cell research on human embryos, repugnant though it is.
I expect reporters and even editors to fall for hype now and then, but politicians running for president have science advisors whose job it is to keep their guy from saying stupid and dishonest things. The facts are not in doubt:

  1. There is no ban on stem cell research. The only restriction is on federal funding of research on stem cells derived from embryos destroyed after August 9, 2001.
  2. Embryonic stem cell research derived from destroyed embryos is morally repugnant, especially since those cells are obtainable from umbilical cords and placentas.
  3. Embryonic stem cells hold less scientific promise than stem cells from adult sources.

John Kerry and John Edwards need to fire their advisors and apologize for a shameless lie that cruelly gives false hope to people with spinal cord injuries.
Here’s a PDF version of my Note, published in 2002.

Are We Killing The Weak To Heal The Sick?: Federally Funded Embryonic Stem Cell Research

More coverage:
Redstate (read the comments; they’re great)
Wizblog (a fellow Clevelander)
TigerHawk
Considerettes
Truth, Lies & Common Sense
Just One Minute
Wes Roth
Confessions Of A Political Junkie
Jay Reding
The Corpus Callosum (opposing view)
Evangelical Outpost
Citizen Z
Daniel W. Casey
Power Line
Polipundit
Sean Gleeson
bLogicus
Back of the Envelope
Drink This …

UPDATE (9:33 PM): Arthur Chrenkoff sees a pattern of exploitation in the Kerry/Edwards campaign’s use of the handicapped:

John Edwards is engaging in cynical political game at the expense of the sick and the suffering. Not satisfied with using triple amputees to deliver letters for the Kerry campaign, the Dems are now using the chronically ill and the incapacitated to whack Bush over the head: you see, Bush is mean, because he provokes the terrorists, he makes your gas more expensive, and he sends your jobs overseas. He’s so mean, in fact, that he will keep the sick sick for the sake of his extremist moral agenda.

And I do mean “use” literally and pejoratively.

UPDATE (10:04 PM): This post just merged at high speed into today’s Beltway Traffic Jam.

UPDATE (10:17 PM): Paul at Wizbang is as pithy as you can hope to be.

UPDATE (11:59 PM): Before you revel in embryo stem cell dreams, consider the proven nightmares.

Kerry will exploit Christopher Reeve’s death

I hope John Kerry doesn’t exploit Christopher Reeve’s death to flog President Bush about stem cell research on human embryos. There is no ban on stem cell research; you can legally kill all the embryos you like as long as you don’t fund your research with taxpayer money.
No matter. I predict Kerry will keep up the lie, and say something close to “George Bush killed Christopher Reeve.” He might even get Dana Reeve do it for him on TV.
Unless MoveOn.org beats him to it.

UPDATE: Kerry hasn’t blatantly painted Bush with responsibility for Reeve’s death yet. He’s only implied it obliquely. But I’m certain down to my bones that Kerry will find a way to hit Bush with this during the third debate this Wednesday. Watch for it at the end of a Kerry rebuttal, when Bush has little or no time to respond. It’ll be something along the lines of “if not for the ban on stem cell research imposed by this Administration, my dear late friend Chris Reeve might be alive and walking tonight.” Kerry will deliver the lie with his best attempt at a mournful expression and sympathetic voice.
Watch for new widow Dana Reeve to silently show up at Kerry’s side after the debate, too.
UPDATE (Oct 12, 12:22 PM): John Edwards, shameless ambulance chaser, jumped in with both feet today (link to follow). For now, see Drudge. I’m having difficulty choosing the words to accurately describe my contempt for this new low in political pandering.
UPDATE (1:00 PM): Edwards said “When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk. Get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.” Bull. There is no cure for spinal cord injuries. Furthermore, no peer-reviewed embryonic stem cell research study to date has shown promise for finding a cure. Not one. They’re still stuck on the scarring problem. Go ahead and look, but you won’t find anything, believe me. I keep up to date on this topic, and I’m fairly familiar with the state of the law on federal funding of embryo stem cell research.
UPDATE (1:39 PM): I’ve been waiting to fire this broadside all year. Hey, Kedwards … catch!