Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why Do Conservatives Think They Can Make Diagnoses Via Televison?

Last year, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) laughably concluded that Terri Schiavo wasn't in a persisntent vegetative state, based not on his personally examining Schiavo, but instead on the court testimony of a discredited doctor, William Hammesfahr.

Frist was later proven wrong, of course, by the results of Schiavo's autopsy. And like so many conservative leaders today, Frist promptly agreed with the autopsy results, skipping over the fact that he had made the original diagnosis-via-video.

Fast forward to this week, when conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh tried to "pull a Frist" by diagnosing the extent of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's Disease.

Frist, for all his faults, is a licensed doctor. The closest Rush Limbaugh has come to being a doctor is when he over-prescribed his own use of oxycontin and other pills.

Yet on his Oct. 23 show, Limbaugh said Fox either "didn't take his medication or he's acting" when Fox was showing symptoms of Parkinson's in commercials he taped on behalf of Democratic Senate Candidates Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Ben Cardin of Maryland.

Yesterday, Dr. Limbaugh continued pushing his ignorant line:

LIMBAUGH: I stand by what I said. I take back none of what I said. I wouldn’t rephrase it any differently. It is what I believe; it is what I think. It is what I have found to be true.

That would suggest he actually consulted with a doctor. And certainly, he could find some discredited yahoo to support his ignorant statements, just like Frist and other conservatives defended their ignorance on Terri Schiavo by rallying around the discredited Hammesfahr.

Those of us in the fact-based universe know that Fox wasn't acting. "Anyone who knows the disease well would regard his movement as classic severe Parkinson's disease," Elaine Richman, a neuroscientist in Baltimore who co-wrote Parkinson's Disease and the Family, told the Washington Post. "Any other interpretation is misinformed."

***

Thankfully, most Americans aren't buying Limbaugh's ignorance now, just as they didn't generally buy into the conservatives' ignorant claims a year ago on Schiavo.

In fact, a new study shows that Americans across the political spectrum increased their support for embryonic stem cell research after watching Fox.

The poll shows that the vast majority of Americans support such research. The Bush Administration doesn't understand as much, kowtowing instead to the religious right and fringe conservatives.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not a stem cell debate. Its a abortion debate. Just as long as abortion stays legal we can do all the immoral things we want. Right donks?

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

I'd love to do a brain scan of you, anonymous. Your brain seems like an interesting place.

Not a good place per se, but interesting.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Dave, let him rant and rave. What did the poll say -- 88% of Democrats and 66% of Republicans endorse the idea of embryonic stem cell research?

Anonymous above is part of a minority of Americans -- maybe 15%, most of whom are religious conservatives -- who somehow think that Jesus said anything about abortion rights, or the use of otherwise destroyed embryos for research.

They certainly have a right to their opinion. But at the same time, the vast majority of Americans should not be made to feel like fringe radical left hippies out of touch with society or Middle America.

The people are speaking loudly. Even Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger are listening. It's just a matter of time before this ship is righted, and embryonic stem cell research can get properly funded, and maybe within a generation we'll see dramatic results in fighting a host of diseases, including Parkinson's.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

To the repuke Anonymous I would like to ask you some questions:

Do you support fertility clinic operations? If you do, then where is your outrage about the several thousand viable embryoes that are destroyed by many of these clinics each year through biological waste methods? Also, where is your outrage about the many viable embryoes that were and still are destroyed in their testing and research to improve the success rate of these clinics?

If you do not agree that these clinics should operate, then where is your outrage about the many viable embryoes that are destroyed each year by all of the clinics combined??

So either way you think about the fertility clinics, abortion is going on and you should be outraged( SO ARE YOU?!). If you are not outraged about this then you are a hugh hypocrit!.

I would have to say that your opinion about abortion is strictly political not a moral one. You want to be able to say to yourself "I am ok, but those that believe in abortion(other than by the fertility clinics) are not ok" which gives you permission to feel superior to any of your neighbors that support a women's right to choose( which they have in regard to the un-used viable embryoes in a fertility clinic - 1. they can choose to keep forever and pay monthly fees 2. Donate the embryoes to another couple or to an organization 3. Destroy the viable embryo 4. Donate to research) The option to destroy the un-used embryoes is the most chosen option because of people like you that do not want to federally fund research using the discarded embryoes!!

Should you not be walking in front of these clinics with your signs calling them "Killers of Babies"??

7:19 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

rob of wilmington, del. said...
"The people are speaking loudly. Even Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger are listening. It's just a matter of time before this ship is righted, and embryonic stem cell research can get properly funded, and maybe within a generation we'll see dramatic results in fighting a host of diseases, including Parkinson's."


Rob, this is all a bunch of emotional drivel being used by Democrats hoping to gain political advantage.

Please tell me on what do you base your great hope that embryonic stem-cell research will ever help cure such diseases as Alzheimers, Parkinson's, or even spinal cord injuries?

What is so difficult to understand about this? Don't you think the drug companies would be all over this if they had seen a modicum of potential in ESC?

Look at all of the baby boomers who will soon be facing the ravages of Alzheimers. If the drug companies believed that ESC was at all promising, trust me, they'd be pursuing it, just as they are now investing big in adult and cord-blood stem-cell research.

The fact that they won't fund ESC is because of the terrible results they have had with it. They know a loser when they see it.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

there are plenty of areas where the government has taken a lead role in early, early research on things before it bears fruit in the private sector, trinity. "It's not working now" isn't exactly a defense of the position, and it's hardly emotional drivel.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

trinity said... What is so difficult to understand about this? Don't you think the drug companies would be all over this if they had seen a modicum of potential in ESC?

Trinity this is obvious you have no involvement with medical research. Drug companies only fund research when there may be the utilization of drugs for the treatment. ESC is not a drug solution but an implantation therapy. If a rejection drug is necessary, they are already available. If there is drug therapy solutions for any disease, then drug companies will fund the research, but only if it has a very quick application potential and not beyond a five year potential. They are in the business to make money, not save lives( that is just a side benefit of their making $bilions)

I work in medical research and we get funding from 5 sources ranked in this order:
1. NIH
2. Private donations
3. Drug companies( they do most of their own formulation research in their labs)
4. The State where the research is done
5. From money made by the research facility

ESC is compared to the Research of DNA. In Feb 1953 James Watson and Francis Crick announced they had discovered "The secret of Life", our DNA. From that moment, there was a goal to map the DNA of humans. For years scientist tried to get funding to map the Human Genome but faced the same resistance that is now going on with ESC but on a smaller scale( it was not a political issue then,but a financial and a moral one). Researchers finally got the backing for this project from the Department of Energy and the NIH ( NOTICE, NOT A DRUG COMPANY). The Human Genome mapping project was started in Oct 1990 and was not finalized until May 2006 ( 16 years). There was a rough draft version submitted in 2003 but was not complete. You notice this took 16 years to complete!! DNA types of solutions do not happen over night. All of the future life saving research using DNA information will take time and lots of money as well. These are not like trying to test a drug quickly and get it to market to make $billions.

You can also compare this to fertility research. It took many years of testing with private money(no drug company money because again this is not grug therapy)and NIH money to get Fertility Clinics to the point they are now and they are still at about 20%-30% success rate. The 20%-30% success rate happens because the female reproductive system has a GOD designed rejection mechanism (SOME WOULD SAY AN ABORTION MECHANISM)agaisnt getting pregnant everytime an embryo is implanted. They are still trying to make the implantions more successfull so that they do not have to make choices( abort them is one of the choices - the repukes like to say "destroy them using biological waste methods") about the un-used viable embryoes( 15 -20 per each couple) that are created. I can remember all of the moral arguements against the fertility clinics and some of the predictions of all of the horrible things that could happen if we allowed these clinics to operate. Now the repukes support these clinics, but argue against ESC research and against the right of women to choose about abortion( except in the case of the fertility clinic).

I would say that if the world were to operate by the repuke hypocrasy code, then we would never have had man intervene in the treatment of mans' diseases, but only allow GOD to cure all of our aliments. He said we are going to die, but did not say we could not utilize things to increase our life span. I believe he created in us a BRAIN for the purpose of better understanding our universe, our selves, our nature and our soul. To do less is a rejection of GOD. Besides if He/She is all that we say He/She is, then He/She will not alow us to become greater than He/Her.

As an aside, I wonder if anybody has an idea about these questions:

1. When GOD created man did GOD create a light colored skinned man and then later became a dark skinned man or did GOD create a dark skinned man and he later became a light colored man??

2. If evolution does not occur then why do we need to take flu shots every year?

3. If evolution does not occur then why is there fear that the Bird flu will adapt to man( except another fear that repukes can add to their fearmongering list?

4. If evolution does not occur then how did dark skinned people get sickle cell enemia and not in other people?

5. If evolution does not occur then how can you explain that democrats/independents are much smarter than repukes??

1:09 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Not only is it "not working", Dave G. It's actually producing tumors, which is why it's near impossible to get venture capital from the private sector for EST research.

Why wouldn't you opt to continue with the research that is actually showing great positive results, rather than lobbying to have the government fund such unpromising research? Sounds like an agenda to me, and a sick one at that.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

whoop4467 said...
"They are in the business to make money, not save lives( that is just a side benefit of their making $bilions)"



Exactly. So if they believed that embryonic stem-cell research was even more promising than other stem-cell research, they'd be more than willing to invest in it, since all of us are looking forward to having these cures there for us when we need them.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

This is still a relatively new field, with the first embryonic stem cell line produced in 1998. So you're telling me that's it? Abandon it, it's not working, blah blah...do you know how long it takes some type of scientific research to bear fruit? Decades, it can take, as others have explained above. I mean, please. To me, it's not an either/or -- the government can have an interest in both. And I have no idea what the hell you're talking about with an "agenda," but as usual you make very little sense.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

trinity said...
whoop4467 said...
"They are in the business to make money, not save lives( that is just a side benefit of their making $bilions)"


Exactly. So if they believed that embryonic stem-cell research was even more promising than other stem-cell research, they'd be more than willing to invest in it, since all of us are looking forward to having these cures there for us when we need them.

Trinity, Trinity are you in there??

Drug companaies are only into making money or spending money on research in the treatment of diseases when there will be a drug therapy to give palliative relief. There is no drug therapy involved in ESC therapy, therefore drug companies are not interested in funding any of this research just like they had no interest in the Human Genome Project or in fertility clinics. They will have no financial gain if ESC therapy is successfull!. What part of this arguement do you not understand??

Also my statement above that you quoted was as usual taken out of context by you! The drug companies do not do research for drugs to cure diseases, all they want is for people to use their drugs to get a palliative relief and have to purchase the drug for a long time. Besides there are no drug therapies that cure a disease totally( Cancer drug therapy is coming close but people still worry about it coming back or matastizing - it killed the lung cancer in my brother, but three months after a clean bill of health he was diagnosed with Liver and kidney cancer and died three months later). Most people who start a drug regiment for a health problem like Parkinson, MS, Kidney Failure, Diabetes, ALS, DMD,high blood pressure, etc, etc will continue it until they die.

Trinity, also ESC research is really only in the "embryonic" stage. As with other types of genetic or DNA studies, it will take a long time and lots of money to make progress. But once some hurdle is crossed then progress moves forward at a greater speed. It seems to me that also as with other types of research, people like you want to hinder research based upon hypocritic reasons or in your case it is also a political issue.

I would guess you have no objection or outrage to our Military funding research on ways and means to kill millions of people quickly, but to find cures of ravaging diseases is out of the question! This just one example of the hypocracy of people like you.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Rob, this is all a bunch of emotional drivel being used by Democrats hoping to gain political advantage.

Please tell me on what do you base your great hope that embryonic stem-cell research will ever help cure such diseases as Alzheimers, Parkinson's, or even spinal cord injuries?

>>

Because just about every objective researcher out there believes that embyronic stem cell research could provide that promise, although it may take some time.

I'm not a doctor. You're not a doctor. But I trust the medical community on this one.

>>
What is so difficult to understand about this? Don't you think the drug companies would be all over this if they had seen a modicum of potential in ESC?
>>

No. This isn't an issue for the drug companies at this point, if at all. It's an issue for university researchers, biotechnology companies perhaps.

5:10 PM  

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