Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Anybody who blogs long enough will wind up writing something regrettable eventually. Here (above and beyond my own many contributions) I offer a couple of examples from what is ordinarily an excellent production, the Grand Rounds.

When so many people foul up the same facts the same ways you have to suspect a common source of disinformation. The post cited in Grand Rounds had the usual nonsense which failed to distinguish between adult stem cells (which have shown some successes) and embryonic stem cells (notable for their failures). One would think that if he wanted to write something snarky about this, the writer would take pains to know his topic first, especially if he's an aspiring medical professional.

The fact of the matter is that George W. Bush is the first President to push for *any* federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, and the minute the lefties want to "move on" embryonic stem cell research they can send in their money so they can do as much as they want with as many stem cell lines as they want. That they don't do so tells you that they're all about politics, not medical progress.

But the guy who put the Grand Rounds together is even snarkier. On his sidebar he offers this permalink to Terri's blog. And his post introducing the one above amounts to "Har har, Dubya sure shot himself in the foot this time! If his kind hadn't been blocking stem cell research maybe they could cure Terri Schiavo!"

Well, what he did say was "Those same people fighting for Terri’s tube reinsertion barred stem cell research from progressing." That's wrong on its face for reasons I discussed above.

But it's even worse yet. IMO it is fair to say that those in Congress who voted for the recent Terri Schiavo legislation would be among those who favor her tube reinsertion. Does he think that all of those solons also opposed increased federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?

And let's look at the Terri Schiavo angle. She can't be treated if she's dead, right? And who is it who has been fighting for her death and denying her treatment all these years? Uh huh, Michael Schiavo, her husband. Who do you think is more likely to let Terri receive such treatment - her hubby, who wants her dead, or her parents, who want nothing more than to care for her? Incidentally, look here to see how adult stem cells from bone marrow have been made to develop into functioning brain cells.

So these two can spare us their mock concern for Terri Schiavo. IMO it would ruin their day if Terri Schiavo were somehow cured with the "wrong" stem cells.

Here's an interesting stem cell link from the National Institutes of Health.

UPDATE: Ace has some similar comments here.

Michael Schiavo wants an autopsy?

That's contrary to my earlier information, which I can't source right now. Anyway, Michael Schiavo, husband and guardian of Terri Schiavo, and Mary and Bob Schindler, Ms. Schiavo's parents, have been engaged in a contentious public and legal dispute over the decision to remove Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube, but: both want an autopsy and both say the post-mortem exam will provide evidence to finally nail down Ms. Schiavo's diagnosis.

Let's keep going below the neck and see if there are signs of abuse. We have had Schiavo claiming that he found needle marks on her after her parents had visited. And we have a hospice staffer's affidavit claiming that after periods of being locked in the room alone with Michael Schiavo, Terri would be left suffering signs of hypoglycemia (which is something of an accomplishment on her very stable liquid diet), which suggests that Schiavo was trying to kill her by injecting her with insulin.

And let's not forget that 1991 bone scan. Terri is 5' 3", Michael Schiavo is 6'5" and 250 lbs. Unless he's really a candyass he could break her bones effortlessly and maybe even unintentionally. (why would he want a woman so much smaller, anyway? If they had had kids it would have been rough on her.)

Anyway, this could be interesting to watch.