The following is a letter I sent today in response to the Empire State Stem Cell Board's Draft framework. I would like to remind New Yorkers that the due date for all public comments is June 20.
June 13, 2008
Judy Doesschate, J.D.
Director of Board Operations
New York State Department of Health
Empire State Plaza, Box 509
Albany, NY 12208-0509
Dear Ms. Doesschate:
This letter is to express my response to the Empire State Stem Cell Board’s strategic framework that will guide New York State’s $600 Million, 11-year investment in stem cell research.
The report expresses the intention that New York’s investment in stem cell research will hold the promise of revitalizing and strengthening New York’s biomedical research industry, saving lives, and improving health. This is a false hope. The Empire State Stem Cell Board’s draft report discusses a great potential that may come from embryonic stem cells. To date, there have been no known cures - nor the promise of any cure - from embryonic stem cells.
Research in the area of embryonic stem cells is the twenty-first century’s version of alchemy. Medical researchers in this area are pursuing the “gold rush” to create an organ replacement industry to stave off illness and disease. While the practice of alchemy only involved the use of base metals, embryonic stem cell research requires the sacrifice of precious living human fetuses as fodder for their experiments.
Embryonic stem cell research is nothing New York State tax dollars should fund and nothing New Yorkers will support if they realize what it entails. When the world learned about Joseph Mengele’s experiments on Jewish children, the reaction was shock and revulsion. Using abortion clinics as a source of material for embryonic stem cell experimentation fills most New Yorkers with the same kind of revulsion.
I strongly recommend that Empire State Stem Cell Board funded research use its resources for adult stem cell research, umbilical cells, and the newly discovered induced pluripotent stem cells - iPS cells - because we know these to be effective. Non-embryonic stem cell research, which includes adult stem cells, cord blood cells, and iPS cells, is clearly an area of medicine and research that proves capable of aiding the treatment of a growing number of illnesses and diseases which should be funded by our tax dollars.
I cannot and will not support or encourage any Empire State Stem Cell Board research that uses, exploits or destroys embryonic stem cells from aborted children. It is morally indefensible and fiscally irresponsible to use taxpayer funds for the purposes of cloning or for human stem cell research. It disgusts me to think that our tax dollars could ever be used to support cloning children for experimentation purposes.
I urge Empire State Stem Cell Board to prohibit research or funding to clone, create or manufacture another human life in a laboratory with the sole purpose of killing him or her to be able to use their cells for experiments. I urge the Empire State Stem Cell Board to prohibit the use of aborted baby’s body parts for experimentation and research.
I urge Empire State Stem Cell Board to build upon the great success of adult stem cell research, and to promote ethical and successful methods. These research projects must clearly exclude any plans to experiment on embryos, unborn children, or cloned humans.
Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz