Defending stem cells resarch [Archives:2007/1067/Letters to the Editor]

July 12 2007

Arnie Levitt
2737 Hidden Valley Trail
Solon, Iowa USA 52333
[email protected]

I strongly disagree with Paul Kokoski's letter to the Yemen Times (“Embryonic Research Scientist,” May 22) which criticizes embryonic stem cell research.

These cells have no human lives and never will. An embryonic stem cell is not even a fetus. It is a cluster of about 150 cells the size of the period at the end of this sentence. They are currently discarded anyway. Why do opponents of this research think it is more moral to wash stem cells down a drain than to use them to help save and improve millions of lives? You and I have lives, embryonic stem cells do not.

If opponents insist on thinking of embryonic stem cells as having “lives,” why not think of them as soldiers who are sacrificed to protect all of us in the war we are all fighting to stay healthy.

No words can accurately describe the horrific symptoms that accompany diseases – Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, and stroke, to name a few for which embryonic stem cell research holds great promise. These conditions manifest themselves with unbearable pain, disfigurement, mental incapacitation, and amputation – lives wasting away. The suffering continues.