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Vote for a Cure: Vote Yes on Stem-Cell Research

August 01, 2004

Ron Reagan's speech on stem-cell research at the Democratic convention was welcome support for those of us who wait and suffer. I am probably too old -- 68 -- to benefit from this very ethical research, but would like to hope that someday people will not have their lives stolen by Parkinson's disease even though they remain alive.

This whole discussion is ridiculous, as no human beings are destroyed as opponents of stem-cell research would like you to believe. The choice is between going back to the ignorance of the Middle Ages and moving forward with hope.

Please don't kill my hope. Vote for stem-cell research and Proposition 71.

Rayilyn Brown

Murrieta

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President Reagan's son has refocused the issue of therapeutic stem-cell research. The federal restrictions on stem-cell research are one of many areas in which members of the scientific community have said that politics are interfering with science. Last month, more than 4,000 scientists, including 48 Nobel laureates and 127 members of the National Academy of Sciences, issued a letter accusing the Bush administration of distorting and suppressing science to suit its political goals.

By using stem cells, we have the potential to stop diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and diabetes, along with many others. We have the opportunity to give tens of thousands of people a second chance at life.

Opposition to the research comes primarily from religious groups, which contend that the 5-day-old human embryos (a clump of a dozen or so nondescript, undifferentiated cells, the size of a dot) from which the cells initially are obtained, are humans, with rights that supercede those of the multitudes of diseased children and adults in the world.

California voters will have a chance on the November ballot to approve a $3-billion bond proposal to finance stem-cell research. They should do so.

D.S. Shillam MD

Pasadena

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