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Stem-Cell Research Should Stay in U.S.

March 20, 2003

I applaud the enlightened comments and efforts of Don C. Reed ("Let Hope Grow in a Petri Dish," Commentary, March 16). I have a 3-year-old granddaughter with myotonic dystrophy, a genetic disease with a prognosis of life in a wheelchair cut short by deterioration of her heart and other organs. I would encourage genetic research on a broad scale, unencumbered by fear of scientific advances or based on narrow beliefs.

Clearly Reed and I have a very strong personal interest, as do the millions of family members of those who suffer from diseases and injuries for which we are confident a cure is attainable. But of considerable importance to the future of our country, there is an industry to be built, a very large one. I am proud of the record of scientific prowess of our nation and its demonstrated ability to change the course of the world by its entrepreneurial development of technologies. I am not anxious to learn Chinese or any other language to seek help in another country that may have had the foresight to see the promise of stem-cell and genetic techniques.

Why must the greatest country in the world have its policy dictated by rigid beliefs and, in this case, misunderstood or misinterpreted differences between therapeutic and reproductive cloning? Certainly an administration that believes it can distinguish between a just war and one that is not should be able to discern differences that are scientifically demonstrable.

Don Hausknecht

Marina del Rey

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Religious wars have killed more people the world over than any other type of conflict. The newest religious warriors, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and his antiabortion crusaders, are continuing this tradition. Armed with the name of God, they are attempting to maim, slaughter and kill millions of critically ill people by outlawing stem-cell research. These Christian soldiers don't need weapons to kill in the name of God; they need only legislation and a friendly ear in the White House. Funny, I thought God was one of the good guys.

Jonathan Grossman

Huntington Beach

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