Pres. Bush was right all along: Disabled Dr. Charles Krauthammer on Stem Cell Research

Charles Krauthammer, Wheelchair-bound Doctor

For those who refuse to consider the moral implications of Embryonic Stem Cell research, and who believe in the fantasy rhetoric of the “stem cells will cure all ailments” crowd, Charles Krauthammer has just put you in your place.

Krauthammer’s politics may stand on the right side of centre, but his bio makes him a source beyond reproach. A trained Medical Doctor, Krauthammer became a paraplegic in a diving accident while studying at Harvard Medical School, and after practicing for several years, went to work for the Carter administration in the late 1970s, and has been a writer ever since. Always an advocate for continued research on discarded embryos from fertility treatments, but queasy about the ethical implications of obtaining future embryos and the possible treatment options available from embryonic stem cells, he now believes the argument is essentially moot, now that new research has shown that therapeautic stem cells can be produced from a simple cheek swab – and he exposes the ugly alliance between money-hungry medical researchers and ugly political partisans who exploited the hopes of suffering people by purposely ignoring the truth:

That Holy Grail has now been achieved. Largely because of the genius of Thomson and Yamanaka. And also because of the astonishing good fortune that nature requires only four injected genes to turn an ordinary adult skin cell into a magical stem cell that can become bone or brain or heart or liver.

But for one more reason as well. Because the moral disquiet that James Thomson always felt — and that George Bush forced the country to confront — helped lead him and others to find some ethically neutral way to produce stem cells. Providence then saw to it that the technique be so elegant and beautiful that scientific reasons alone will now incline even the most willful researchers to leave the human embryo alone.

Jonah Goldberg also celebrates the news of cheek-swab stem cells with a great column acknowledging Krauthammer’s prescience, and the press’s sudden move away from out-and-out advocacy:

At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Ron Reagan, the acclaimed dog show emcee, tried his hand at being an infomercial snake oil barker. “I am here tonight to talk about the issue of research into maybe the greatest breakthrough in our or any lifetime: the use of embryonic stem cells,” Reagan announced. After listing numerous diseases and injuries it could cure, Reagan delivered the pitch: “How’d you like to have your own personal biological repair kit standing by at the hospital? Sound like magic? Welcome to the future of medicine.”

“Wait! There’s more! Order your Biological Repair Kit in the next seven minutes, by voting 1-800-D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T, and you’ll receive a second repair kit at no additional cost, as well as this amazing two-in-one steak knife that can cut through your dignity and still be sharp enough to slice this tomato! Operators are standing by.”O.K., I exaggerate. But the tone wasn’t far off.

Reagan wasn’t alone, either. Then-vice presidential candidate John Edwards proclaimed in 2004, “If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.”Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.) announced a few years earlier: “We must not say to millions of sick or injured human beings, ‘Go ahead and die, stay paralyzed, because we believe the blastocyst, the clump of cells, is more important than you are.’ … It is a sentence of death to millions of Americans.”

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), outraged by conservatives seeking to inject religion into politics, nonetheless proclaimed: “Mr. Speaker, the National Institutes of Health and Science hold the biblical power of a cure for us.”Cure for what? Cure for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. And soon!

How soon? Very soon. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D., Calif.) promised that “we stand on the brink of finding the cures to diseases that have plagued so many millions of Americans.”Columnist Charles Krauthammer, who is not only a doctor but also bound to a wheelchair because of the sort of spinal injury Democrats insinuated could be cured with a Democrat in the White House, said it well. This flimflammery was “a cruel deception perpetrated by cynical scientists and ignorant politicians. Its purpose is clear: to exploit the desperation of the sick to garner political support for ethically problematic biotechnology.”

And where was the press during this riot of false hope and cruel demagoguery, where politicians were in effect telling sick people they could vote for a cure for themselves or their loved ones? The short answer is that they were either on the Democratic bandwagon, or they were outside helping push it.When President Bush was grappling with embryonic stem cell research in 2001, Newsweek’s science correspondent, Sharon Begley, warned in a cover story that this might be “a cruel blow to millions of patients for whom embryonic stem cells might offer the last chance for health and life.”

Both columns are well worth the read – particularly for those who blindly followed the embryo-free-for-all advocates.

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29 Comments

Filed under Embryonic Stem Cell Frankenstein Science, Left-Wing Causes Celebre, Media Bias, The Confusion of The Left

29 responses to “Pres. Bush was right all along: Disabled Dr. Charles Krauthammer on Stem Cell Research

  1. Really makes you think, doesn’t it?

  2. MA

    All to show the real agenda behind pushing embryonic stem cells is solidifying the pro-abortion views of people by creating a lack of respect for life from its logical and scientific beginning, and once again putting the “needs” of born people ahead of those who are too tiny, defenseless, underdeveloped, and hidden to speak up for themselves or garner sympathy in any other way for their own plight. And, that abortion in any form — whether for “research”, or not — is big, big business. And those who stand to gain from it will generally say or do anything to make sure they keep the business booming.

  3. Reilly

    I suppose if you consider a clump of 150 cells to be equivalent to a fully-developed human being, it might be ethically problematic. Thankfully, I can’t see anyone halfway rational thinking that.

    Surprisingly, I don’t see pro-lifers lobbying against infertility treatment – the source of most embryonic stem cells. If the blastocysts from this process will be discarded anyway, what’s the harm in using them for science? Would you rather we forced couples undergoing infertility treatment to try to carry every single embryo to term?

  4. Reilly: you were a “clump of cells” at one time, and yet you were allowed to develop all the way to this era of pomposity and thoughtlessness in your life. Congratulations.

    Meanwhile, if you actually read what you are commenting on, you would understand that thoughtful people like Krauthammer do indeed support research on discarded embryos. The controversy lies not in the research; it lies in the future practical applications of the research results.

    Your point about fertility treatments is moronic. If you can’t grasp the distinction between creating life and destroying it, you’re really not up to the challenge of civilized debate.

  5. Reilly

    Thanks, but I did read the article – I just have trouble distinguishing between research on discarded embryos and research on embryos created specifically for those purposes.

    Your “distinction between creating life and destroying it” is also a little fuzzy to me. Are you saying that creating one life balances out discarding what you consider to be human beings? If discarding embryos is okay because they’re by-products and weren’t intended to be carried to term, then why is using embryos specifically created for research morally problematic?

    My point is that if 150 cells is a human being, murder is murder and these embryos that will only be discarded shouldn’t be created in the first place. If you’re justifying this by the creation of another human being, then it follows that any new mother should get to murder a couple people for bringing a child into the world.

    Accordingly, if it’s not a human being there shouldn’t be moral dilemmas involved in creating embryos specifically for research.

    I was hoping to start a conversation about the subject and possibly learn something new, but I suppose the best I can hope for is more insults masquerading as “civilized debate”.

  6. Your final paragraph is completely disingenuous. Your original post was an insult, not a conversation-starter. And your responsive arguments are completely disingenuous. Bottom line is, I have no time for people who refuse to accept at the very least that a “clump of cells” is a future human being if left alone in the womb, and that creating embryos for the purpose of creating a fetus is far different than creating embryos for the purpose of destroying embryos.

  7. Robert

    I find it most funny that the same conservative right to lifers won’t support socialized medicare in the states.

    So, they will protect that life so it can born, but…if that particular life doesn’t make enough money…then it can die due to lack of primary medical care…too bad so sad.

    Besides, by then it’s not a cutesy babykins and can die apparantly. The same thinking that makes people save cute animals over rats or other “ugly” animals.

  8. Robert: I find it most sad that you are such a shallow thinker, and that you ascribe the most awful motives you could possibly think of to those you disagree with politically. Grow up.

  9. Current [June 2009] bottom line:

    Adult cells have helped in over 70 diagnoses.
    Embryonic cells : none.

    Can’t beat those odds.

  10. Harriet Klammer

    I admire you greatly, Mr. Krauthammer and your stance on stem cell research. Please continue to hammer this home to the public so that alternatives will eventually be understood and followed. You may or may not be a Kraut, nor am I a Klam but let me say this, I thoroughly enjoy your wise contributions to the Fox panel.

  11. I have been trying to find out more about Charles Krauthammer, as I deeply admire him. I found out he was injured in a “driving” accident, not a “diving” accident as you say above. This is old, so no telling if anyone reading it. Also, I am against stem cell research, so enjoyed this article.
    JoAnne in Texas

  12. Well, excuse my last submission. I found out by reading two other articles that Krauthammer WAS damaged by DIVING and not DRIVING! Sorry.
    I posted the same to Seraphic Secret who said that it was a car accident! See how things get twisted, from just a letter, in this case, an “r?” jb

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  14. Excellent piece, I ran across this when I was curious of Krauthammer’s infirmity. I find it really surprising how committed some of the abortion-rights commenters are to fantasy. Remember when John Edwards (the love-child Daddy since running as US Democrat VP candidate) said – paraphrasing – if the embryo lobby could put the Democrats in power, people in wheel chairs will walk again. They pile lie on top of lie, and it is all to control reproduction, health, energy, education, in fact everything Karl Marx saw as the tools to enslave the masses with a new atheist opiate.

  15. tim

    Dilema! Premise…
    If it were proven that embryonic stem cells held the secret for mending nerve injuries, i.e., spinal cord, nerve blindness, m.s., parkinsons etc. and you were the keeper of embryonic stem cells to be destroyed. Would you deny the plea of a living breathing sick person, or mother of a suffering child only to cast those cells into the furnace?Maybe Christopher Reeves motrher, or if you prefer Mr. Krauthammers mother?

  16. Kathleen

    So, was it a diving accident or a driving accident? I watch Fox channel(s) 90% of the time over all others, and sincerely enjoy Dr. Krauthammer’s commentaries and opinions…. Thank you.

    May you have a blessed 2011 and today, on the Panel, you said you were going to “….let out the kinder, gentler Charles,….. had to find him first”.. I admire your intelligence and acumen in defining situations and putting them into context the “rest of us” can follow.

    Kathleen
    Woodinville, WA

  17. mike richards

    I’m sure that all of his medical care when he got paralyzed was paid for by his savings and a part time job delivering pizza. If the free market was to operate as this toilet mouth would like it to, he would have used as fertilizer. He was Mondales’ speech writer. How can you argue with that kind of success

  18. I CAN NOT TELL FOR SURE IF IT WAS DIVING OR DRIVING ,BUT HE SURE IS A GREAT GREAT MAN .I SURE WOULD LIKE TO MEET HIM,I KNOW THAT HE FORGETS MORE IN ONE HOUR THAN I EVER KNEW.GREAT MAN. KEN

  19. Bert Redmond

    Surprised and sadened to learn of Dr Krauthammer’s paralysis I think he is one of the most intelligent people alive – Should be main advisor to Congress

    Surprised and sadened to learn of D
    e Krauthammer” paralysis

  20. dextmom

    Robert, down here we don’t let anyone die because of lack of insurance or money. If you’re a doctor you know that. All people are treated. That’s a Democrat myth, just like Republicans want people to die because George Bush doesn’t support embryonic stem cell research. A Blob of Cells is tantamount to saying the best novel in the world or the greatest technology is just a bunch if bits or words. All great things come from humble beginnings but they will be nothing, just a great void if they are not brought to life. This blob is life itself.

  21. I cherished up to you will obtain performed proper here. The cartoon is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nevertheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. in poor health undoubtedly come further previously again as exactly the same nearly very incessantly inside of case you defend this hike.

  22. Belzebub

    My understanding was he dove into a pool that had no water in it

  23. RNgirl

    Mr Krauthammer was diving into a pool and hit his head on the bottom that left him paralized and in a wheelchair ever since. This happened while he was in medical school. Hope this answers your questions.

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  25. I am an admirer of Dr. Kauthmammer on Fox News. I like his honest approach to politics and would like to know if he thinks Obama is trying to run for a third term, whether it is allowed or not, because most of the people that voted for Obama were on food stamps or welfare, (that 47% Romney talked about), because I think this is Obama’s goal.

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  27. Thomas N. Tully

    Dr. Charles Krauthammer is one of the most brilliant minds today. I also admire his political insight and ability to expose the truth and deliver it courageously each time. Congress should take note of his honesty and be as courageous as he, wouldn’t that be a nice change!
    Tom Tully

  28. Pingback: 5 tech trends worth watching out for in 2014 – Rappler | Stem Cell Ethical

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