John McCain on Stem Cells

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-2ayFo3BXs]

John McCain is claiming he will not only change Washington but will “improve your health” (but don’t even think of calling on him if your computer crashes or you need to get out an email.) McCain expresses support for stem cells in the radio ad above. The full text reads:

They’re the original mavericks. Leaders. Reformers. Fighting for real change.
John McCain will lead his Congressional allies to improve America’s health.
Stem cell research to unlock the mystery of cancer, diabetes, heart disease.
Stem cell research to help free families from the fear and devastation of illness.
Stem cell research to help doctors repair spinal cord damage, knee injuries, serious burns.
Stem cell research to help stroke victims.
And, John McCain and his Congressional allies will invest millions more in new NIH medical research to prevent disease.
Medical breakthroughs to help you get better, faster.
Change is coming.
McCain-Palin and Congressional allies.
The leadership and experience to really change Washington and improve your health.
Paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee.

If John McCain does support an end to the federal ban on funding embryonic stem cell research, then there is one area where we agree, along with Barack Obama. Unfortunately he only refers in general to “stem cell research” and not specifically to embryonic stem cell research, which is important as many conservatives only support adult stem cell research, which at present does not offer the same benefits as embryonic stem cell research.

There is also the problem that Sarah Palin opposes embryonic stem cell research. Besides opposing embryonic stem cell research, Sarah Palin showed she has no more understanding of this issue than she does of foreign policy. When asked about her opinion on the subject Palin said:

My personal opinion is we should not create human life, create an embryo and then destroy it for research, if there are other options out there. And thankfully, again, not only are there other options, but we’re getting closer and closer to finding a tremendous amount more of options, like, as I mentioned, the adult stem cell research.

Her first error is the suggestion that embryos are created for stem cell research and then destroyed. Using embryos for stem cell research is not the same as harvesting organs from a baby as opponents of embryonic stem cell research often argue. Besides, the embryos used are ones already existing from fertility treatments and are often discarded if they are not used for embryonic stem cell research. Palin is also incorrect in suggesting that adult stem cell research is an adequate substitute for embryonic stem cell research at present.

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