I Don’t Want To Hear It

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Sanctity of Life, Stem Cells

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is attempting to use Embryonic Stem Cell (ESC) research as a wedge issue in his re-election campaign. In so doing, it isn't surprising that he falls squarely in line with ESC proponents, by pandering to false-hope sensationalism and attempting to claim a moral/emotional high ground.

I've covered this ground before, and will continue to do so:

The Democrat senator told a panel of experts and advocates at Hackensack University Medical Center that the Republican majority leadership in the U.S. Senate has blocked a vote on his bill to allow funding for work on stem cell lines from new embryos.

The panel, which included Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, was the first of three campaign stops in North Jersey for Menendez, who replaced Jon Corzine in the Senate and is running for a full term. Other panelists included advocates for research in Parkinson's disease, juvenile diabetes and blood cancers.

I wonder if any of these "advocates" support the Adult Stem Cell (ASC) research that is actually producing meaningful, useful, and promising results in these areas?

But it is the following pander by Menendez that irks me incredibly:

Menendez said the stem cell debate is personal for him because his 85-year-old mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease, one of many illnesses that future research might cure, he said.

"It's difficult to sit across from your mom and have her not know who you are," he said.

Note to Menendez: you don't own the moral high ground on this issue. And I don't want to hear it.

I am sick of Alzheimer's being used as the battle-standard of ESC proponents, and I am equally sick of ESC proponents claiming moral and compassionate superiority over their opponents because of Alzheimer's. The ESC proponents are not the only ones ever to lose a loved one because of Alzheimer's. I never truly knew my grandfather, because by the time I was old enough to have a relationship with him, he was already too mentally deteriorated from the amazing, sharp-witted, character-discerning, loving man my family knew him to be, due to the Alzheimer's that eventually claimed his life when I was a freshman in high school.

Further, it is very likely that I am genetically pre-disposed to Alzheimer's - so I have even more of a vested interest in medical advances and research that will hopefully one day understand and cure this horrendous disease. But I will be damned (and I mean that quite literally) if I put the value of my own life before anyone else's - and that includes cloned or frozen embryos.

I would rather die than destroy another human life - especially when that life would be destroyed for the purpose of research that has produced no meaningful results whatsoever, while other research, having no ethical concerns whatsoever, continues to progress and bring real results and real hope and promise.

Consistent with the Clone the Truth campaign, I am committed to ensuring that the truth about adult and embryonic stem cell and related research is made known.