By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
I never expected my explanation for declining the ALS “ice bucket challenge” to go viral, Save Jerseyans, truly and sincerely, but I am gratified that so many readers contacted me to express a new-found determination to view all social media activism with a skeptical eye. It’s important. Some even shared creative attempts to modify the ALS challenge by promoting more ethically-appropriate alternatives for their charitable donations. Congratulations! You’re making a difference rather than promote the cause of some human beings at the expense of others.
We’re also bringing attention to an issue that wasn’t getting nearly enough coverage prior to the last few days.
Less inspiring? The ALS Association’s apparent remedial attempt to obscure their support for embryonic stem cell research.
Last night, a few of you pointed out how ASLA’s online article, ‘A Primer on Stem Cells’ authored by its Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Dr. Lucie Bruijn, had disappeared from the ALSA website. In case you missed it, Dr. Bruijn argued in her post that “[a]dult stem cell research is important and should be done alongside embryonic stem cell research as both will provide valuable insights,” and how, in her opinion, “[o]nly through exploration of all types of stem cell research will scientists find the most efficient and effective ways to treat diseases.”
The generous explanation involves the page going down for some technical reason.
Now, we’ve already discussed the moral and cultural dimensions of this story. I haven’t even touched upon the practical, scientific yet curiously ignored facet: embryonic stem cells have shown virtually no promise in terms of curative value to researchers relative to adult stem cells.
Millions of dollars, public and private, in addition to many children’s lives sacrificed on the altar of junk science. Amazingly terrible stuff. Then again, what could we really have expected from the same types of folks clinging to membership in the ever-shrinking global warming cult? The scientific community in 2014 continues to drift from traditional ethical moorings yet their corporate sponsors are somehow shocked when the electorate demands a self-defeating quick fix like Obamacare to pay for their medicines.
But I digress. Enough lecturing from me; here’s your chance to do the right thing, ALSA. That’s the task at hand. Disavow embryonic stem cell research, or at least promise in writing to abstain from funding it with ice bucket challenge bucks, and I’ll go dump a bucket of ice water on my head and cut a check tomorrow.
Persist in pushing embryonic stem research – and then covering your tracks to prevent it from showing up in a Google search – and you’ll succeed not in curing ALS but dramatically reducing the additional donations and supporters you otherwise could’ve marshaled for the cause.