Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Life Links 2/17/10

This is interesting but not surprising considering how politicized everything with embryonic stem cells has become. Geron intentionally delayed the application of their now-delayed embryonic stem cell clinical trial so their application could be accepted just after President Obama expanded the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Remember this when proponents of embryonic stem cell research claim they just want to save lives. They didn't want to hurt their "Bush is a stem cell obstructionist" story line so they "engineered" when their application would be approved so Obama could get the credit.
It now turns out that the timing was more than a coincidence. When I met up with Geron's chief executive, Tom Okarma, in London this week, he revealed that the announcement was deliberately planned for the immediate aftermath of President Obama's inauguration. But it was the company, not the FDA, which set this in motion: Geron deliberately timed its application so it would be decided just after President Bush left office, so that the Obama Administration would be able to announce it.

Dr Okarma told me:

"Many people hypothesised the first time that the lifting of the hold was due to the Administration change. We have no information and no indication that that was the case. We engineered the timing, because our final submission was timed such that the 30-day window occurred after the inauguration of President Obama. That was our design, not really an Administration change. That was our timing. We did not want this to come up under the Bush Administration. We designed it."

Jared Ahlstrom has plead guilty to drugging his pregnant girlfriend with misoprostol.
The baby died nearly a year ago but it wasn’t until November when Ahlstrom told the mother of the child that the miscarriage wasn’t an accident.

In a written statement, Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said, “It is unfortunate that Colorado law only makes this a class 4 felony. It is considered a ‘non-extraordinary risk’ crime, and carries no mandatory sentencing of any sort. It has a maximum of 12 years prison, but he is eligible for any type of sentence.”

The Virginia Senate has passed a measure to allow pro-choice license plates but the Senate measure doesn't include an amendment added in the House to prevent any funds from going to Planned Parenthood.

Wesley Smith notes attempts in the Netherlands to expand the legalization of assisted suicide to individuals who are over 70 and "tired of life."
I have long believed that once killing is accepted as an acceptable answer to human suffering, the culture changes to the point that life itself ceases to matter if the person in question is perceived as “suffering.” Now, Dutch citizens have rushed to put a measure before the Parliament that would allow people age 70 and older who are “tired of life,” to have access to assisted suicide–even if they aren’t sick or disabled....

Unbelievable, but entirely logical. Once you start down this road, it is never enough. And why limit it to people age 70 and over? Surely 68 year olds who are tired of life deserve “choice.” And in fact, why not just anybody sufficiently depressed to want to die for longer than two weeks? Yup, that is already happening–officially approved by the Dutch Supreme Court.


  1. Surprise! Scientists are human. They want to do their work and in order to do it you have to get it funded.

    There are very very many much more arbitrary things scientists do for their grant money than this, I can assure you. Funding decisions are made by inbred, gossip-driven communities.

    I love it when outsiders discover that scientists are not saints.

    What science has going for it is not saints, but self-correcting mechanisms built in.

  2. I'm confused. Why shouldn't the money go to Planned Parenthood? These are, after all, pro-choice plates.