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Letters to the editor - 6/20/02

June 20, 2002

Study stem cell issue very closely


To the editor:

Your June 4 issue carried a letter from Cheryl Felent claiming that Theraputic Cloning "could help save millions living with incurable deseases and conditions." This statement has absolutely no scientific data to back it up.

The only tests with stem cells which have shown good results are those using adult stem cells taken from the bone marrow, fat cells and from placental "cord" blood. Tests using embryonic stem cells such as those that would come from cloned embryos had very poor results and patients ended up worse off in many cases. (New England Journal of Medicine, March 8, 2001).

The real sad fact, however, is that Felent fails to understand the terrible moral choice she has endorsed: The end justifies the means. That it is a good thing to bring into existence a group of human beings in order to kill them in the first few days of their life so that their parts may become the raw material to serve the needs of other big people who have the power to make them and destroy them at whim.

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She would have us believe that we can distinguish between one of these tiny persons on the basis of whether this one is chosen to be implanted in a woman's womb or that other one which is selected for execution. The simple scientific fact is that an embryo is an embryo.

An embryo with human DNA is a human being. I do not know if Felent has ever taken the time to consider how she came to be. She started her life at the moment of conception, when an ovum was fertilized. Before that she did not exist. Since then she has simply grown, for a short time in her mother, but always as her own person with her own personality and talents. There is no time in that continuum when she did not deserve the full protection from all of us to her right to life. Does she really believe that at some early stage in her life it would have been OK for some senator to have given some drug company the right to kill her and use her parts to make a few billion dollars?

The only thing that a vote for theraputic cloning will do is degrade ourselves and our nation by saying that what is legal is moral. This is the very defense that was made at the Nuremberg Trials by doctors accused of using people leagally declared non-persons for deadly experiments to advance their brand of medical science.

Please, Ms. Felent, forget the Harry and Louise TV ads that seem to be the basis of your letter. Study the science, and above all the moral laws involved. Do not sell yourself, your children and your country into a further involvement in this Faustian nightmare.

Richard Giovanoni

Hagerstown




Thanks so much for the timely ride


To the editor:

We would like to thank the Good Samaritan (and her daughter), who came to our rescue recently, when the thunder and hail storm hit our area.

The two of us met at the YMCA that afternoon and went for a walk. We were in the North End of Hagerstown, more than a mile from the Y, when the storm began. A lady in a black SUV stopped on Hamilton Boulevard and graciously offered us a ride. She knew neither of us, nor where we were going, but said she did not want to see us walking in the rain.

As soon as we accepted the ride and were in her vehicle, the intensity of the storm increased and the hail began. As area residents know, the storm became violent within a matter of seconds. We considered ourselves very fortunate to have been "rescued" and safely transported back to the YMCA. Unfortunately, we did not get the name of this lady, but we wish to publicly thank this Good Samaritan and her daughter for going out of their way to assist two strangers.

Patti Weaver

Carol Veil

Hagerstown




Cut to hire

To the editor:

Cut school jobs so the head person can hire her friends for $94,000 to $97,000 a year? Some savings. She spends more than you can save. Run this. It's true.

Louise Shipley

Clear Spring

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