Thursday, October 12, 2006


Missouri voters will be voting on a new amendment to the Missouri constitution on November 7. This amendment is as follows:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to allow and set limitations on stem cell research, therapies, and cures which will:

ensure Missouri patients have access to any therapies and cures, and allow Missouri researchers to conduct any research, permitted under federal law;

ban human cloning or attempted cloning;

require expert medical and public oversight and annual reports on the nature and purpose of stem cell research;

impose criminal and civil penalties for any violations; and

prohibit state or local governments from preventing or discouraging lawful stem cell research, therapies and cures?

I've done some research on this because the commercials, of course, offer no clear explaination.

Here is what I've learned from researching stem cells (Sorry this will be long but I'll try to shorten it as much as possible.

There are 2 types of stem cells.

Adult type stem cells are found in body tissues, including tissues in the bodies of adults and in discarded umbilical cords and placentas. Scientists have been conducting research with adult stem cells for over 50 years and have developed a number of medical therapies that use adult stem cells, such as bone marrow transplants to treat leukemia.

Adult stem cell research which includes stem cells from umbilical cord blood, placenta, bone marrow and a host of other cells has proven to be extremely successful in treating over 65 illnesses. New medical advances using adult stem cells occur constantly. This is a source of true hope for those suffering from currently incurable diseases.

Early, or embryonic, stem cells (ES cells) are the new frontier in stem cell research. There are two basic sources of ES cells: leftover fertility clinic embryos that would otherwise be discarded and a process called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT).

Embryonic stem cell research involves the cloning of a human embryo, then destroying that embryo by extracting the stem cells. Medical science clearly states embryos created by somatic cell nuclear transfer are human clones. Ironically, given all the hype, embryonic stem cell research offers NO treatments or cures and in fact has proven to produce defects such as tumors.

Now off of facts and onto personal beliefs. Now, I don't have a problem with the Adult type stem cells usage but I do have an issue with the embryonic usage. But, the amendment is not as to whether either will be allowed, it is so that Missouri can be involved in whatever FEDERAL LAW allows.

I believe that as soon as the egg and sperm meet, that is the beginning of life. Whether or not it becomes viable is not up to us. I get that at that point there is no heartbeat, that it cannot survive on it's own, but I still believe the way I do.

I plan to vote YES on this amendment simply because I don't see why Missourians should be excluded from any cures that are found.

What do you think?

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