Print 29 comment(s) - last by dever.. on Jul 10 at 3:50 PM

A cure is close, but action is required

With President Bush's recent veto concerning stem cell research funding, hope for finding quick cures to many devastating diseases has dimmed in this country. However, there is still a bright spot on the horizon for sufferers of juvenile diabetes.

Unlike type 2, or adult onset diabetes, juvenile diabetes is an autoimmune disease that only strikes children and young adults, and it can't be managed simply by changing eating and exercise habits. Also called "insulin-dependent" diabetes, the Type 1 version involves the complete shutdown of the pancreas, the body's natural insulin-producing organ. Without insulin, we can't process the food we eat. Blood sugars quickly climb to toxic levels while the body essentially starves.

Insulin injections provide life support to millions of Americans -- including my son -- but they aren't a cure. It's a daily game of "whack-a-mole" with life or death consequences, as sufferers alternately treat high and low blood sugar levels by administering insulin or carbohydrates. Over the long haul, diabetes takes its toll on the body, affecting the eyes, liver, heart, circulatory system, etc. It's not a pretty picture.

Luckily, through efforts of single-minded organizations like the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the likelihood of finding a cure during my child's lifetime is extremely high. Several promising therapies are coming closer to fruition -- from a "closed-loop" artificial pancreas that senses insulin needs and dispenses the hormone without human interaction, to targeted transplants of insulin-producing islet cells without the need for dangerous anti-rejection drugs.

The House and Senate have caught the excitement from their constituents over the closeness of a cure. In a rare show of bipartisan support, Senators Dorgan (D-ND) and Domenici (R-NM) have introduced a bill to reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program. This past week, Representatives DeGette (D-CO) and Kildee (D-MI) introduced the House companion bill. These bills will extend the Special Diabetes Program for five years and increase funding from $150 million per year for type 1 diabetes research to $200 million per year.

Despite the tremendous support for the bill, JDRF is urging voters to contact their representatives this week to ask for their vote in favor of S.1494 in the Senate and H.R. 2762 in the House. To make it easy, JDRF has set up a Web page that will automatically e-mail your legislators and ask for their vote. It takes only a minute, and could help millions lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

To learn more about our family's efforts to help find a cure for juvenile diabetes, please visit or watch the video.

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RE: wealth redistribution not the answer
By TomZ on 6/29/2007 11:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
How can you morally justify advocating the forceful seizure of individual earnings via government taxation, and spending it on what those individuals consider to be immoral?

David, there's no guarantee expressed or expected that every citizen in the nation will agree with the purpose for all tax dollars spent. This argument is completely bogus.

Government works more in terms of majority and notions like that, as you well know. I would be willing to bet that if you surveyed individual citizens, you would not find any who agree with 100% of government spending (or decisions more generally), with most citizens probably agreeing with 1/2 to 2/3 of such spending (or decisions).

Your argument may be theoretical, or maybe even philosophical, but it is not practical. Because of practicality, things must move forward, even if not 100% of the citizens agree.

You may not agree with human embryo stem cell research, but some percentage of U.S. citizens do. And to that extent, such research can and should move forward, as it does now just lacking certain federal funding.

RE: wealth redistribution not the answer
By dever on 7/2/2007 1:58:31 PM , Rating: 2
TomZ, As you state, there is no guarantee, which is why we see the slow erosion of personal liberty over time without those affected individuals taking a stand to reduce government intrusion.

You make very good arguments as to why government should do as little as possible and shows why there can emerge a "tyranny of the majority." For instance, the majority once thought slavery was beneficial, but we've found that individual liberties are more important. Perhaps, like many of our founders intended, we should strive to limit government to the protection of individual liberties from forceful infringement by other individuals or governments. Or, to take it a step further, to provide protections that are shown to be unattainable in the free market.

It sounds like you're stating that just because some percentage of citizens believe that cost-benefit ratio of embryo research is acceptable, that we should all be forced to reduce our earnings to fund it. This is in exact contradiction to the first part of your post.

RE: wealth redistribution not the answer
By brandonmichael on 7/2/2007 6:38:28 PM , Rating: 2
Its funny how the both liberals and conservatives like to claim that ending slavery was the pinnacle accomplishment of their ideology...
You realize that the "personal liberty" argument was used by the slave owners back then? They felt they had the right to own slaves and that the government had no place telling them what they could or could not do. I hear that very same rhetoric espoused by conservatives on this website every day (not about owning slaves)... well if the government had not intervened, had not "infringed" on the slave owners "personal liberties", where would we be? The event is significant because the majority had their civil liberties policed, so that the minority could enjoy civil liberties. Sometimes, that has to happen, one person, one party has to lose a freedom so the others can gain some essentials. I just think it is important that we understand that...

If stem cell research is a moral issue, it is only because politicizing scientific research with tremendous yields to further a religious agenda is completely amoral.
We will be taxed regardless. Democrat, republican, they will all take their bite, if I'm going to pay either way, I want my money going to further the science that will save lives. Simple.

RE: wealth redistribution not the answer
By therealnickdanger on 7/3/2007 11:45:52 AM , Rating: 2
I also want my tax dollars going to further science that will saves lives - without taking lives first. Simple.

RE: wealth redistribution not the answer
By brandonmichael on 7/3/2007 1:57:47 PM , Rating: 2
The definition of "life" aside, will those frozen blastocysts ever be grown into a fetus? If we leave them alone, they eventually deteriorate or are destroyed... These are discarded in vitro excess. They will never sit next to you in home room, they will never cook your breakfast, you will never see them running for office... Delaying research by denying dollars is the only way lives are lost. These blastocysts never had a real chance and never will have one. Why not protest in-vitro fertilization instead?

RE: wealth redistribution not the answer
By brandonmichael on 7/3/2007 2:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
And I think it is funny when people sing the praises of preserving life and then berate the "environmentalists" when they work to save endangered species. Is human life the only kind worth protecting?

By dever on 7/10/2007 3:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
The reverse argument is much more poignant.

By TomZ on 7/4/2007 10:17:06 AM , Rating: 2
I also want my tax dollars going to further science that will saves lives - without taking lives first. Simple.

Simple for you, since you choose to ignore the tradeoffs and consequences of the decision. Even if you take the extreme view that an embryo created in a lab and existing in a cryo chamber is human life, you are ignoring the greater good that can come from helping to find cures for diseases that cause millions to suffer and die.

You are effectively arguing on a moral principle that the death of an embryo is more significant than the death of a child or adult. That makes no sense at all. And you feel justified in believing that because you hope that solutions will be found through other methods of research. Although that is possible, the practioners working to find cures clearly believe that stem cell research is the fastest path to success. The fastest path to success is the one that can save the most lives.

Luckily not everyone agrees with your flawed value system, and so the research continues.

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