Editorial: A roadblock to stem cell research | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Editorial: A roadblock to stem cell research

If what they say is true about stem cell research – that it is one of our best hopes to understand and cure diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimers, to diabetes – then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision this week to push state funding for research sends a positive message to Washington that politics should not stand in the way of progress.

The move comes on the heels of President Bush’s decision Wednesday to veto a bill that would lift restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. In the president’s first veto in 51Ú2 years, he went against the wishes of the majority of Americans and the majority of our elected representatives, including many from his own party.

It is certainly the president’s prerogative to use the power that voters entrusted him with – that is the cost and benefit of representative democracy – but this decision could effectively send cutting-edge research, technology and life-saving medicine outside of the United States to countries that embrace this sort of progress. If there is an area where our county should strive to retain its status as a world leader, it is in biomedical research.

Unfortunately, the politics of abortion are intertwined with the embryonic stem cell research debate. The two may be connected in some people’s minds, the president included, but a greater majority of Americans favor legalized embryonic stem cell research than legalized abortion. The two issues should be debated separately, each on its own merits.

Meanwhile, people with ailments for which their is no cure will have to wait and watch while politics plays out. As technological progress continues with increasing momentum, roadblocks only serve to prolong unnecessary suffering. If embryonic stem cell research is the key to understanding answers to critical health problems, then the government should get out of the way.

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