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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stem Cell Research (what hill do you want to die on?)

I think that stem cell research is an important avenue of medical research.

Embryonic stem cell research (as opposed to adult stem cell) has ethical issues related to it. Read on, and I'll tell you why embryonic stem cell research might not be such a great idea, and maybe some insight into the organizational management issues related to it.

This post was triggered by an article on the Examiner.

Yet another breakthrough for stem cell research. Make sure you understand, though: that's adult stem cell research. All of the innovation in stem cell research (including actual medical treatments that are available today) is in adult stem cell research.

It makes no sense to me to spend money on embryonic stem cell research, when over ten years of research, and tens or (more likely) hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into it, to the net result: zero innovation, zero breakthroughs, zero treatments based on it. What a waste of money and time.

Here's the thing though: once it became a political issue, there was a certain camp that demanded that it be pursued, simply because "the other guys" said that they didn't like it. This isn't a discussion of the politics of the issue, but the idea that people will do things that make no sense just because someone else tells them not to. Those of you with children understand what I'm saying.

Now, I've been a victim of this thinking. I even saw it coming, and it still happened.

I worked for someone who could always get me to take action just by saying, "well, if you think you can't do it...". I knew his strategy, but was still susceptible.

In life (and work) we have to be able to take an objective step back, and ask ourselves: is this the hill I want to die on? Is this actually productive, or am I just pursuing it for emotional reasons?

2 comments:

phyl said...
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DesireeStar said...

It makes no sense to me to spend money on embryonic stem cell research, when over ten years of research, and tens or (more likely) hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into it, to the net result: zero innovation, zero breakthroughs, zero treatments based on it. What a waste of money and time.

I have to admit, I am a victim to the liberal media when it comes to this issue. From what I have been told, it's a "great thing" and that's just from listening to commercials. My first mistake, I know.

I have no education on what it costs, and how much it makes or what treatment benefits are supposed to have come from it. Could you point me in the direction of a good source of education on this subject?