Rick Perry's Stem Cell Opportunity *Updated*
No, the MSM is too busy quoting the ISSCR -- the International Society for Stem Cell Research -- whose members all support embryonic stem cell research and slam adult stem cell medicine. The ISSCR happens to be the MSM's go-to quote factory. Here's Dr. George Q. Daley of Children's Hospital Boston and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, a past president of ISSCR, on the governor's decision to undergo adult stem cell treatment, as quoted by AP:
As a highly influential person of power, Perry's actions have the unfortunate potential to push desperate patients into the clinics of quacks. ... I would never in a million years accept for one of my family members to undergo this.
Substituting opinion for facts, most of the recent articles on Perry's procedure neglect to mention the names and exact locations of the hospitals that offer adult stem cell treatment -- you'd think they would, just to start a guessing game -- and Perry isn't talking. Instead of making it hard for readers to find the doctors who could help them, the MSM should rather do a public service by featuring the facilities around the globe that are pioneering this health technology.
Perry knew exactly where to go. A longtime proponent of adult stem cell medicine, Perry urged the Texas Medical Board to consider enhancing the state's position on adult stem cell research. In his 2009 State of the State address, Perry called for greater investment in the adult stem cell industry and displayed real leadership material:
Let's get Texas in on the ground floor and invest in adult stem cell research, the one area of that field that is actually proven to expedite cures. Expertise in this emerging and increasingly promising field will not only bring healing to the suffering and create jobs for Texans, it will also establish an appropriate firewall protecting the unborn from exploitation.
It's refreshing to hear a presidential candidate discuss this topic with such clarity. The MSM, on the other hand, spreads confusion about cell medicine, promoting the widespread misconception that all stem cells come from dead fetuses and treating all adult stem cell procedures like so many back-alley abortions -- even if the patient is a right-wing Christian presidential candidate. In fact, the MSM studiously avoids the subject of stem cells -- unless, that is, you're talking embryonic stem cells.
These are the controversial cells, harvested from dead human fetuses, that most people presume to be the foundation of all cell medicine. For the MSM, embryonic stem cells are not quackery; they are cool, cutting-edge, sexy. They are headline-grabbers. They have the highly mediagenic property of "pluripotency" - i.e., the ability to morph into any type of cell in the body. Adult stem cells are proven more effective and less risky than embryonic cells. And yet, only embryonic stem cells and their supporters merit coverage in the MSM, despite the fact that fetal cells do not perform successfully in clinical trials, as adult stem cells do.
As we've seen before, pro-life doesn't have to mean anti-science. The Vatican -- which opposes embryonic stem cell research for the obvious reason that it involves the destruction of human fetuses -- strongly supports adult stem cell research.