July 19, 2006

Bush Vetoes Cancer

As he promised he would do, President Bush vetoed a bill that would have lifted restrictions on federally funded human embryonic stem cell research:

"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush, speaking at the White House, said after he followed through on his promise to veto the bill. "It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect. So I vetoed it."

In it's reporting, the Washington Post couldn't help but jump at the chance to make a charge it couldn't actually support:

Such research is controversial because it holds the promise of finding cures for major diseases, such as Parkinson's, but requires destroying human embryos to extract the cells.

The reality of the matter is that embryonic stem cell research hasn't been able to get past a single fundamental hurdle that of unrestricted cell division, so that "promise" is nothing but a pipe dream.

Wikipedia reminds of what many of us forgot since high school:

Cell division is the biological basis of life. For simple unicellular organisms such as the Amoeba, one cell division reproduces an entire organism. On a larger scale, cell division can create progeny from multicellular organisms, such as plants that grow from cuttings. But most importantly, cell division enables sexually reproducing organisms to develop from the one-celled zygote, which itself was produced by cell division from gametes. And after growth, cell division allows for continual renewal and repair of the organism.

But cell division must be regulated by the body, and a great deal of the genetic code we carry makes sure that growth is regulated and eventually terminated.

Embryonic stem cells, as I stated before, have a problem with unrestricted cell division.

There is another name for that problem, and many scientists seem to agree that it could take a decade or longer to fix that problem in embryonic stem cell research, if it is ever fixed at all.

Frankly, I'm with the President on this one: I'm against killing human embryos to create cancer, when adult stems cells are already clinically proven to work.

Update: As if cued up for a comic relief, the reliably clueless Oliver Willis writes a breathless post, The Republican Culture of Ignorance and Death, where he repeatedly accuses the president of banning "stem cell research," conflating the two quite different lines of research into one. Of course, this is simply not the case.

In addition, Bush didn't ban any research whatsoever, he merely banned the federal funding of dubious embryonic research. Bush actually increased federal funding of stem cells obtained from adults, umbilical cords, placentas and animals during his presidency.

Once again, Willis shows that the culture of "ignorance and death" is assuredly his own.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 19, 2006 03:16 PM | TrackBack

No need for ethical considerations to enter into, once one realized this is just another earmark. You want it, fund it privately.

Posted by: Stormy70 at July 19, 2006 05:50 PM

Forgot an "it" up there, sorry.

Posted by: Stormy70 at July 19, 2006 05:51 PM

This is a real tempest in a teapot. The vast majority of research on Stem Cells is being done by private industry, not by the government. If the country feels that Federal money should not go to funding research that involves human tissue, that will not stop the research. Most major breakthroughs will come from the pharmaceutical companies, not from government research.

Posted by: Steve at July 19, 2006 06:11 PM

I have to agree with Steve. The progress of any significance will most likely be private research. Bush is just playing politics to suffice his base. This issue is damaging to the Republicans, thus the reason they are dealing with it now rather than later. Many moderates feel Bush and Republicans are on the wrong side of this issue. Republicans are saving all the gay bills for November, playing that same song just one more time and tweaking out the stem cell bill early. Not an admirable move, but politically smart.

Posted by: Johnny at July 19, 2006 07:51 PM

Been doing a little more reading since I posted on Bush's veto earlier today. Before Bush took office, there was no federal funding for this kind of research. After he took office, in August 2001, he agreed to fund a limited number of embryonic stem cell lines.

There are no limitations on private financing of embryonic stem cell research except the usual medical/ethical requirements for all medical research.

So, Congress wanted to expand the program, despite five years of federal financing finding going nowhere. Bush said no, still using the same arguments made when he signed the original in 2001.

The thing is, that Bush should have saved his first veto for McCain Feingold, not this. But I digress.

Posted by: lawhawk at July 19, 2006 08:00 PM

I don't know much about this issue, but when Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell support it, it's a good bet that the other side is right.

Posted by: PoliticalCritic at July 19, 2006 09:40 PM

It is close to an election cycle so all of the lefties and some of the righties want to start throwing billions of taxpayer dollars around as political payoffs. Simple purpose of the bill. The truth is that government funded research seldom accomplishes anything and not one dime is ever returned to the taxpayer when something works. The money always ends up in someone else's pocket. Private enterprise will win out every time at 10% of the cost.

Posted by: Scrapiron at July 19, 2006 11:05 PM

He vetoed a bill that would have expanded federal FUNDING! not, as you say "lifted restrictions."

He vetoed a bill that would have funded an as yet untested, an as yet unsuccessful, an as yet uncertain method of treatment when adult stem cells (my sister in law, on the eve of her marriage to my brother, recieved chemo, and the following day an adult stem-cell (her own, not her dead babies) transfusion injected into her lymphatic system, and while "non-hodgekins lymphoma" is only "50 percent survivable" at the time, my sister is alive, thanks to her own body, not because of the body of a dead child, that she now PRAYS she might have.

See? we hear stories about michael J Fox who wants to live, and I appreciate that, but so far, dead baby flesh hasn't yielded ANY treatments other than the bizarre creation of ears on mice, with mouse DNA, meanwhile my sister in law (the only woman in my immediate family that isn't my mother) wants to have a baby with my brother.

My sister in law has said this, as my brother stayed quiet containing tears, I know my brother, he was on the edge of tears listening to the woman he loves say this "If (my brother) wants a child, and if he would accept it, I would gladly give him 3 armed mutant, Why the FUCK are these women willing to sell their babies to frankensteins, while I would BEG for the baby the discard" I might have made the statement more eloquent, but pretty much every inflamatory word came from my NOW STERILE sister in law, who is alive only because of ADULT STEM CELLS, commenting about embryonic stem cells, because she isn't gonna make a baby, unless it is with a man like my brother.

The president didn't veto an "autorization for stem cell research" he veto'd "FEDERAL FUNDING for EMBRYONIC stem cells" and I agree. If it is irrational to create an ammendment against flag burning (I disagree with the flag burning ammendment) based on the idea that it would REMOVE rights from citizens, I think it is just plain retarded to think that it's okay for citizens of the nation (unborn children) to be slaughtered for an equaly important purpose, although, there has YET to be a valid purpose for the embryonic stem cells.

EVERY! dead baby, aborted from it's parent can be used for research if the almost mother, consents, but it can't be researched with FEDERAL FUNDS!

When will the left stop lying about this?

Posted by: wickedpinto at July 19, 2006 11:53 PM

Followed you over from your comments at left coaster. It's like a part of their brains are missing. Trying to debate with those folks is more difficult than trying to reason with a 3-yr old child.

You might get a kick out of this link about Bush's veto. From Blame Bush, a blog that parodies our friends on the left.

Posted by: muckdog at July 20, 2006 06:25 PM

This might be the most ignorant collection of people on the planet. Enjoy your political masturbation, friends.

Posted by: Jim at July 20, 2006 06:42 PM