March 30, 2005

MA Senate Likes Stem Cell Research

And they did it to an overwhelming degree.

Senate votes 35-2 in favor of stem cell bill (Boston.com)

Overwhelming. But things are a lot less certain in the MA house of representatives. While here are enough votes to pass the bill in the house, there may not be protection from a Romney veto.

I can’t put it any other way: based on his personal beliefs, Romney is planning to oppose the will of the people of the commonwealth (as expressed by their elected representatives), siding with diseases over life.

I hope that the voice of the people on this matter will be loud enough to overcome the gubernatorial veto. How the heck did he ever get to be governor? I hope we have learned our lesson.

Posted by James at March 30, 2005 4:30 PM
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We haven't. The Democrats that win out through the primaries tend to be really questionable.

Posted by: briwei at March 30, 2005 9:53 PM

I meant with Massachusetts state governors, but point taken.

Posted by: James at March 31, 2005 2:27 AM

I hope the voice of sanity will prevail here. Governor Grandstand is really pissing me off.

"Hmm," he thinks, "how can I endear myself with voters? I know! I'll talk about stem cell research as 'human cloning' and scare everyone with misinformation!"

Bite me, dough boy. Like me, his wife has MS, so he really ought to be ashamed of himself. But I guess he may think his god will protect his wife or something.

I am particularly amused by this nugget:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/03/28/stem_cell_bill_faces_1st_test_in_mass/

''The governor has used the term 'ethical,' " Gabrieli said, ''and I think it's the highest of ethics to do everything we can to come up with medical solutions for illnesses."

The commercial tries to rebut ads launched by the state's four Roman Catholic bishops, who funded print, radio, and TV commercials intended to sink Travaglini's bill. ''Some Massachusetts lawmakers, using emotion and vain hope, are trying to legalize embryonic stem-cell research," one of their radio ads says. ''Science does not have to kill in order to cure."

Science doesn't have to kill to cure? Well, I hate to tell these bozos, but drugs and biologics must be tested on animals long before they are given to humans. In the case of devices (think artificial knees, for example), the data you need to take your product to market is almost exclusivey animal because it is unethical to open up a human to see if the product worked.

So, yes, science does have to kill to cure. This simplistic bumpersticker tag line is complete crap.

Posted by: Patti M. at March 31, 2005 11:28 AM

I think you're all smart enough to make the leap, but I will clarify nonetheless: animals used in testing are usually autopsied so the effect of the drug, biologic, or device can be scrutinized. This is where the data come from that are necessary to bring the product to either the next phase or to market.

Here are links to the FDA website where you can get a more detailed explanation of how drugs are tested:

http://www.fda.gov/fdac/special/newdrug/testing.html

Posted by: Patti M. at March 31, 2005 11:41 AM

Yes, you do have to kill to do research, just as you have to kill to eat meat, etc (or at least be complicit in the killing). Their sticking point appears to be that if you clone a few embryonic cells, that's a person.

And now you see, perhaps, why they're so up in arms about Mrs. Schiavo. If personhood is a continuum, Terri Schiavo is very much more of a person (despite her lack of cognitive function) than an embryonic cell is. And the law is now recognizing that, under certain circumstances, (among them, her reported wish not to remain in such a state) we're allowed to let that life go for the overall good. In this case, the overall good being limited to her suffering and the people who suffer in seeing her suffer.

An embryonic cell is no Terri Schiavo. And it doesn't have any of the same rights. It has life, and it is human, but it is not a human being and is not a person.

Animals are far more aware than an embryonic cell. And we slaughter those for reasons often much less serious than curing horrible diseases. Heck, we even kill them for sport.

Posted by: James at March 31, 2005 1:36 PM

Heck, we even kill them for sport.

Or clothing.

We are an advanced society that no longer needs to kill and wear animals (well, some of us are advanced).

Posted by: Patti M. at March 31, 2005 1:46 PM

Oh, that's what I meant, too. I mean our last to offerings of Democratic Governor did not exactly inspire.

Posted by: briwei at March 31, 2005 1:50 PM

Oh - right, Brian. I agree.

I hope we've learned our lesson and we put someone up there who can win as governor.

Although, I think Romney is on his way out and we'll probably have a Dem governor again.

TTTT, because of MA politics I might prefer a really socially liberal MA Republican. MA politics are not like national politics. Many MA republicans are not like the national stripe ones.

Posted by: James at March 31, 2005 1:59 PM

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