It's a scandal that many Americans are allowed to believe that the policy on embryonic stem-cell research is stopping scientists from discovering cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's. On June 25, Dr. James Dobson informed a crowd of journalists about issue at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.
Dobson is challenging the media to accurately report on the embryonic stem-cell research, which would result in the destruction of human embryos.
The debate on stem-cell research has gained heat after the death of former President Ronald Reagan, who died from complications arising from Alzheimer's. Since the passing of the former President, Reagan’s wife and son, Ron Reagan, have been adamantly renewing their support for embryonic stem-cell research, which the Reagan’s believe would lead to a cure for the disease. They are joining with Senators to urge President Bush to broaden a 2001-policy allowing funding for only a 79 embryonic stem-cell lines.
Meanwhile, Californian proponents of embryonic stem-cell research are trying to find a way around Bush's policy. They have decided to support the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative on the November ballot. The measure would sell $3 billion in bonds to create a state institute to give $295 million annually for a decade to researchers studying adult and embryonic stem cells.
However, Dobson, who is in favor of adult-stem research, said to the reporters of the Press Club that "Embryonic stem cells are not going to be the source of a cure for Alzheimer’s.” He reasoned that no individual has received treatment from embryonic stem cells whose origins are created tumors from laboratory animals.
"Nobody will use them," he said.
According to Dobson, adult stem-cells, which are harvested from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow, have shown great promise in treating diseases such as diabetes. Other reasons for not using embryonic stem-cells for research is the hazard of deteriorating embryonic human life during research processes.
Some justify embryonic stem-cell research by arguing that the surplus of human embryos, kept frozen after in-vitro fertilization attempts, would be discarded anyway if not used.
“The immorality of such logic is appalling,” Dobson said. “Prisoners condemned to death would also, undoubtedly, be excellent research subjects. Should we then introduce legislation allowing scientists to remove organs from and conduct experiments that take the lives of these men and women before they are executed by the state for their crimes?”
Dobson implored every journalist to keep the public trust in their reporting as he cited a part of the "Journalist's Creed," which reads: "The public journal is a public trust; that all connected to it are, to the full measure of responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of lesser service than the public service is a betrayal of this trust."
"To ignore the scientific realities, to fail to report that embryonic stem-cell research is the less promising course of action, to allow people who are suffering to develop false hope about possible treatment breakthroughs, is an unconscionable betrayal of the public trust," explained Dobson.