Letter to President Bush in support of stem cell research

From: Nathan Woods Currier (nwc@physics.ucsb.edu)
Date: Wed Aug 01 2001 - 11:59:58 MDT

        As most of you probably know, the House just voted overwhelmingly
to ban all cloning, even for research purposes. This, and the resultant
slowing of scientific progress, was probably inevitable. However,
President Bush is currently trying to decide whether to allow federal
funds for embryonic stem cell research. The Jerry Falwell crowd is, of
course, rabidly against it. Several prominent anti-abortion Republicans
have recently expressed support for it. The Holy See, in his infinite
medieval wisdom, just had a personal meeting in which he urged our most
wise leader not to fund this research.
        Since it could easily be 50 years until we can live in simulation,
we should all write Bush urging him to support the biotech research that
might allow us to survive to that point. Our eternal lives may depend on

Email this to president@whitehouse.gov, call the White House switchboard
at 202-456-1414, or mail a letter to:

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Letters probably have the most effect (assuming that he doesn't make his
decision before the letters arrive).

Dear Mr. President,

        I urge you to support the use of federal funds for embryonic stem
cell research. Fertility clinics destroy many embryos that could
otherwise be used for stem cells. Also, there are embryonic stem cell
cultures already growing; researchers could experiment with samples from
these instead of using fresh embryos.
        Embryonic stem cells are the most versatile type of cell- even
more versatile than adult stem cells. They have the potential for
treating degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. It might also be
possible to transfer the nuclei of adult cells into embryonic stem cells
and create young, healthy transplant organs with the same DNA as the
recipient. This would NOT be cloning, but it would be an excellent
solution to the deadly problems of transplant waits and rejection of
organs by the immune system.
        Many wonderful life-saving treatments could come from embryonic
stem cell research, all without destroying a single additional embryo. To
continue throttling this research would be short-sighted, irresponsible,
and ultimately fatal for many Americans. The deadly effects of slowed
research might also spread to other biotech fields. A hostile,
over-reaching government is very effective at stifling scientific
creativity and driving business to foreign countries. If the research
community feels threatened by the government, the results will be
disastrous. Even if one considers an embryo to be a human life, it
is still obvious that stem cell research will save lives overall. Please
consider these practical arguments instead of allowing more lives to be
lost for the sake of ideology.


Nathan Currier

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