|It is important to address Rep. Ed Emery’s recent columns which claimed, quite erroneously, that stem cell research called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) is the same thing as human cloning. In truth, the sole purpose of SCNT is to make lifesaving stem cells — not babies. SCNT stem cells are created with the patients' own DNA. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by sperm, and implantation never occur, both of which are the necessary precursors of human life.
While we all can agree that human cloning should be banned, this drastic legislation isn’t solely about cloning. It’s about stopping research that could ease the suffering and save the lives of millions of people around the world afflicted with diabetes, MS, cancer, and Parkinson’s. I know firsthand. I’m one of the estimated half a million Missourians who may one day benefit from stem cell research.
Two years ago I was a student at the U.S. Air Force Academy, but an auto accident severed my spine and left me wheelchair-bound. Today, I am a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a strong supporter of SCNT stem cell research because of the immense hope and potential cures it may bring for life’s most devastating maladies including spinal cord injuries.
I’m particularly troubled that the legislation Rep. Emery champions would not only ban SCNT for research in Missouri, but also would stop the use of potential cures derived from SCNT at Missouri hospitals and make criminals, Class B felons, of those who sought after SCNT treatments.
None of us can afford to allow the potential for lifesaving cures to be hijacked by an uninformed minority bent on scoring political points while more than half of all families in Missouri include a child, parent or grandparent who suffers from a medical condition that could potentially be cured with SCNT stem cell therapies.
SCNT is not a political issue, it is not a science vs. ideology issue, it is a people issue. SCNT is the hopes, dreams, and potential cures for millions of people, and it is our best interests to see that SCNT research is preserved. You can help by contacting your legislators and letting them know you want them to oppose the extreme legislation that would ban SCNT stem cell research and cures. The effort to defeat this legislation is being led by the broad-based Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures.
Visit Missouri Cures and see for yourself why SCNT stem cell research is so important, and then I hope you will join us. Together, we can help! more Missourians live healthy, full lives.
University of Missouri-Kansas City