Thursday, June 16, 2005

Stems Cells: A No-Brainer for Rochester

I understand that many people have a moral problem with using embryonic stem cells to research ways to end disease and suffering. What I don't understand is that they don't also have a problem with these embryos already having been frozen and tucked away indefinitely. How is that okay?

Regardless of all that, The Rump Group has called for New York State to invest $300 million over 2 years into embryonic stem cell research. (If you are unfamiliar with The Rump Group, I encourage you to click the link to their site over on the left.) The urging by the business leader coalition is not only smart for New York and Rochester; it is also making it plainly obvious that the federal policy is wrong-headed, unpopular, and hurtful.

The most important factor here is that many states are aware that this new technology will eventually be developed somewhere, by someone, who will be very well rewarded for their advances in medicine. Just because the federal government closes its doors to technology, does not make the idea go away; it does not prevent others from taking the initiative.

So given the amount of research that goes on here in Rochester, especially at Strong Hospital, it's a great policy to seize upon and encourage. The benefits to the community are potentially great, but the possible rewards for humanity are unimaginable.

If Albany can be persuaded, this could open Rochester up to be the epicenter of a whole new era in medical research and treatment.