Nancy Reagan: Just Say Yes To Stem Cells!

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Former first lady (and onetime "Mommy Poo-Pants"; long story, go here for details) Nancy Reagan is urging the Bush administration to get behind embryonic stem cell research:

"I just don't see how we can turn our backs on this… We have lost so much time already. I just really can't bear to lose any more."

She's right. Read some of Reason's material on the topic here.

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  1. GaryM is right to speculate that Nancy Reagan made his decision more on emotions than thought-through ethics. I don’t recall her having any particular reputation in the field of bioethics (although it seems anyone can declare himself a “bioethicist” – no degree required!), but we give her credibility because her husband has Alzheimer’s. If Laura Bush came out for criminalizing alcohol because of what it did to her husband before he turned his life around, would we take her seriously? I’d rather hear someone who is familiar with the research and technology of stem cells, embryonic and “adult,” talk about the relative merits of each, than just get the wistful ruminations of a former first lady who is more swayed by personal factors than public considerations.

  2. Greg Piper: If we were talking about the technical merits of stem cell research, I’d agree that only those who actually know something about the subject (and that doesn’t include me) would be worth listening to. Also, I agree that the mere fact that “Nancy Reagan says so” isn’t an argument, whether we’re talking about stem cells or drug use. But we’re talking just about whether the government should be putting barriers in the way of the research, and taking a stance on that doesn’t require specialized knowledge or academic credentials. Her views don’t affect mine; I simply applaud her for having the courage to express them in the face of potential hostility from the religious right.

  3. No doubt Mrs. Reagan’s view on this is colored by her personal experience with her husband’s AD. That doesn’t mean that the conclusion she’s reached isn’t correct.

    Besides, there is almost no chance whatsoever that stem cell research is going to save Ronald Reagan or anyone else currently suffereing from AD, Parkinson’s, and any other number of neurodegenerative disorders that stem cells show promise of treating. It isn’t about benefiting her husband, it’s about the hope of sparing others what the Reagans have already lived through.

  4. Nancy! At least she was an interesting first lady (Laura= glazy eyed stepford wife with helmet hair). She’s been spoiling the plans of the “Ronnie Monuements in Every State”-types. Knocking off the plans for the “Reagan Dime” so republicans wouldn’t have to look at FDR anymore, killing the Ronnie College plans, and now going for stem cell research.

    Remember when we used to think Ronnie was conservative? He wouldn’t have a chance with todays evangelicals in congress!

    *sigh* The last republican I ever voted for president.

  5. Strange coincidence that Nancy is challenging social conservatives (by backing stem cell research) when it could benefit her sick husband. I wonder if Ronnie is smoking dope to alleviate the side-affects of his medication? Is he saying “no”?

  6. Nancy – you go, girl!

  7. Nancy’s right, this research looks to save lives and alleviate suffering. Pres. Reagan would have wanted the government to get out of the way and, for the progress of human kind, they had better. This issue is critical.

    Each of us should contact our representative and senators and tell them to get the government out of the way and let bio-science and the market save lives:

    http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

  8. Mrs. Reagan is stopping the Reagan monument fetishists? No kidding? Gotta link?

  9. I put the link the UK Guardian with the college-killer on this message…

    This one is for her spiking the dime idea:

    http://tinyurl.com/ytm5k

  10. You can say what you want about the Reagan presidency, or Nancy for that matter. But her struggle with her husband’s affliction, and her response to it’s progress, has been, dare I use the term, heroic.

  11. But, Nancy, what about the souls of all those poor stem cells? All this fuss could be avoided if those scientists would just get to work cloning souls.

    Bush and Co. should block government funded stem cell research. As long as they sign a waiver disallowing them any right to any medicinal benefits discovered. You’d think Cheney would be clamoring for any medical advantage he could get at this point.

  12. “Bush and Co. should block government funded stem cell research.”

    We don’t need government funded stem cell research if the government stays out the way of private research.

  13. how are they in the way of private research?

    embrionic rockabilly pokadotted fighter pilots!

  14. Nancy Reagan has certainly gone through extraordinary pain. Perhaps she made her decision more on emotional grounds than consistently thought-through ethics, but it would have been easy for her to say nothing. I’m glad she spoke out.

  15. Greg:

    Those people have all spoken already — AND NO ONE LISTENED.

    The right decision is obvious, now the right decision has to be shared and politicized and brought into the public mind as a good thing.

    This requires propaganda, and Nancy’s on the job.

  16. Nancy: You are truly a woman of stature. My condolences go to you and your family at this difficult time. I know a good part of you died yesterday too. I take care of my 93 y.o. father who was an admirer of President Reagan. May God bless you and yours today and always. God Bless America!

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