Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Where Eagles Soar

Patty Davis has something to say:
I wonder if President Bush could look into the eyes of Christopher Reeve’s family and tell them that it’s because he values life so deeply that he is preserving clusters of cells in freezers—cells that resulted from in-vitro fertilization and could be used for embryonic stem cell treatment—despite the fact that more people will die as a result of his decision. I wonder if he could stare into their grief and defend the fact that he has released only a few lines of stem cells—lines that are basically useless because they have been contaminated. Or brazenly point out that he has authorized funding for adult stem cells—which do not hold the same miraculous potential as embryonic stem cells.

The sad fact is, the president probably could. After all, Laura Bush went on national television during the week of my father’s funeral and spoke out against embryonic stem cell research, pointing out that where Alzheimer’s is concerned, we don’t have proof that stem-cell treatment would be effective. It wasn’t too long after that interview that she gave a speech in which she chided people for offering “false hope” to the families of Alzheimer’s patients. In a sweetly patronizing tone, she said it’s terribly unfair to all of those who are vulnerable and in pain to suggest that a cure is just around the corner.

Memo to Mrs. Bush: I am one of those poor, vulnerable souls who you think has been misled. I speak for many others when I say that none of us believe a cure is just around the corner. We believe it’s around a very wide bend, which we can’t get around because your husband has put up a barrier to further research. And as far as false hope, there is no such thing. There is only hope or the absence of hope—nothing else.


He [Reeve] said in an interview a few years ago that when he dreamed, he was never in a wheelchair. In his dreams, he walked and ran and sailed on the sea. He is doing all of that now—far beyond this world and the body that wouldn’t allow him those freedoms. He’s left the rest of us with a responsibility—to never let anyone stop us from one of the most towering medical achievements in history. To never let anyone call our hopes “false.”

God speed, Superman. We'll keep up the good fight. Rest assured, and in peace.


At 12:04 PM, Blogger aloalo said...

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