Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Michael J. Fox and Stem Cell Research...

I've just seen a TV ad for Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill which shows Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future Star) giving his support for Claire and for stem cell research.

His endorsement for Claire is fine, everyone has that right to vote for whomever they choose to, however what struck me as, well odd, is the underline message of this ad.

I think most everyone knows that Michael is suffering from Parkisan's disease. The same disease that affected Pope John Paul II. You may even know of a friend or family member who has this progressively debilitating illness.

I know of a colleague at work who has it and she is a great inspiration to me. She is a mother and a provider and I've never once heard her complain or even talk about it. Yet she performs her daily task just as everyone else, though it's obvious she struggles at times.

The TV ad, again shows Michael showing his support for the candidate of his choice, but it seems to also be saying, look at me and my suffering and if you don't vote for my choice in candidates, then you probably don't want stem cell scientist to find a cure for me.

This may be confusing to some. No one wants Michael J. Fox or anyone else to suffer with this disease. It's not that people are unsympathetic, it' just that the message is false.

The Catholic Church is okay with certain aspects of stem cell research. As long as they are not Embryonic Stem Cell research, which is the killing of a baby.

There is even a new method of embryonic stem cell harvesting which as also been condemned by the U.S. Bishops' Conference (read more).

Umbilical blood stem cells & adult stem cell research is just fine and seems to be the most promising of any of the methods of stem cell.

To use one's illness to first cut off any criticism (after all you're not the one with the disease) and then to place guilt on those that would vote against embryonic stem cell research is, well , Bologna.

Sorry Michael,
I'll pray for you and for scientist to come up with a cure without killing babies (yes babies, not just tissue).

More on the Election issues on later posts.

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