Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How many diseases have been cured through Embryonic Stem Cell Research?

This isn't just a rhetorical question but with the PM's announcement that Labour MPs will have a free vote on three parts of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, it's also a relevant one.
Blogocrats and distinguished members of the Commentariat have hurled themselves at this issue with all the finesse of a drunk collapsing outside a pub at closing time. The Whore of Babylon comes in for a predictable bashing, Polly Toynbee demands the firm smack of authoritarian government and some staggeringly naive comments are made about miracle cures for a shopping list of diseases; Parkinsons, Alzheimers, Motor Neurone Disease and on and on. This is all too amusing for words since uh, it's not just the Roman Catholic Church which opposes contentious aspects of the Bill. (I've just had a press release from a coalition of Moslem groups, possibly feeling neglected in the denunciation stakes as left-footers cop all the flack, reiterating their opposition to the Bill). It's always funny seeing liberals lapse in their noisy beliefs in the virtues of evidence-based policy and independent-mindedness among MPs. And it's even funnier reading the suckers of the blogosphere who still haven't learned to check claims against results let loose all the excitable prose.
As grand old man of the paleo-left, David Lindsay puts it very aptly:
"If it’s progress you want, then you need to look at the record of adult stem-cell research, which Catholic universities in Italy were derided to the skies for pioneering at the height of the embryonic stem-cell research craze."
The answer to the question, by the way, is a big fat ZERO.
Embryonic Stem Cell research has not resulted in so much as one clinical application, still less any miracle cures.


Blogger David Lindsay said...

Very many thanks, Maria.

Now, any chance of a link? And do email me - davidaslindsay@hotmail.com

3/25/2008 10:07 AM  

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