Another Perspective

When Parkinson’s Just Isn’t Enough

Democrats and their patients will soon enough learn about the side effects of stem cell research.

By 11.28.06

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It looks like the recent pro-embryonic-stem-cell spot that Michael J. Fox did for Missouri Senate candidate Claire McCaskill was effective, since McCaskill won the seat. Indeed, this month's sweeping Democratic victory could spell a victory for embryonic stem cell research as well.

It's a bit baffling, though. One would think that having Parkinson's Disease would be enough for a person. But apparently Fox also wants a brain tumor. Recall a study published in the May 1996 edition of the American Academy of Neurology's journal Neurology, in which a Parkinson's patient in China was implanted with embryonic and fetal stem cells. The subject's brain grew bone, skin, and hair -- essentially a Siamese twin; he died.

I understand Democrats are for euthanasia, but there's got to be an easier way. A gun would be quick and less painful, but -- sure enough -- they're against those, preferring the torturous, drawn-out route instead. We should have seen the warning signs when instead of just injecting Terri Schiavo with something, they wanted her to starve and thirst for three weeks until her swollen tongue protruded, her skin cracked, lips and nose bled as she heaved, vomited, had seizures, and gasped for air.

Fetal tissue was also once thought to be a promising avenue for treating neurological disorders. But in 2001 the New England Journal of Medicine reported on a U.S. study in which patients implanted with cells from aborted fetuses started to writhe and twist about, jerking their heads and flinging their arms. As one of the researchers in the study described it, they also started to "chew constantly, their fingers [went] up and down, their wrists flex[ed] and distend[ed]....It was tragic, catastrophic. It's a real nightmare."

One subject reacted so negatively that he now needed a feeding tube. (And we know where that leads.)

As one of the study's sponsors, Dr. Gerald Fischbach, put it: The surgery "is not the final solution that people would have hoped."

There you have it in their own words: They're working toward a Final Solution with human experimentation.

Remember: Guns don't kill people. Using dead babies for cures does.

SLATE WRITER MICHAEL KINSLEY, who also suffers from Parkinson's, likewise has been making a "plea for stem cell research," as Reader's Digest called it. But why plead for stem cell research when there are already countless breakthroughs with stem cells -- adult stem cells -- which consistently have exhibited far less disastrous, more promising results?

But no, Kinsley wants his cells to come specifically from embryos. Not only does the preferred stem cell therapy have to involve embryo destruction, but these folks aren't happy unless the embryo destruction is government-funded. Although Kinsley and Fox can get their tumors through privately funded embryonic stem cell research (which has investors running for the hills), apparently it's that magic touch of government money that will make it all come together.

Who knows -- if it's magical enough, maybe it could even cure homosexuality one day (not a choice, right?). So when they finally find and isolate the gay gene, they can look for it in developing embryos, weed those out, and use those for embryonic stem cell therapy.

How'd that be? A stem cell cure for homosexuality! If anyone is still gay after that, it's obviously a choice (tsk tsk!).

And with the growing popularity of "designer embryos" -- screening for 200 diseases, as well as picking the sex and hair color -- you can now design the embryos you destroy. Which means you can grow a blond, blue-eyed tumor!

TO BE FAIR, EMBRYONIC stem cell research is still only in its embryonic stages, but so far it's showing a lot less potential than the embryos it destroys. (Hey, if embryos aren't people, then embryonic stem cell research isn't science, right?) Then again, perhaps the Democrats indeed might be our best hope for cures to debilitating diseases and paraplegia. After all, if they're able to raise the dead to vote again, they can certainly heal the paralyzed to walk again.

Given the euphoria over the Democratic victory in places like Syria, Iran, and France, one can understand Democrats' obsession with stem cells: they're going to need as many as they can get to rebuild their spines.

So fear not: with the Democrats in control of Congress, the kids will be experimenting on embryos in lab class before we know it. And Michael J. Fox will never have to make another TV appearance without taking his embryo pills first.

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