Senate Bill 148, the Saving the Cure Act, went before the House Science & Technology Committee today. No voting took place today as the committee only took testimony, which lasted for almost two hours. Dr. Marie Csete, who conducts embryonic stem cell research at Emory University, spoke against the bill by saying the omission of embryonic stem cell research in SB 148 is hostile judgment. Maybe it is just me, but I'm not thinking that is too sound of an argument; however, rumor has it that Dr. Csete's argument might be enough to sway two members of the House Science & Technology Committee. Dr. Csete is a perfect example of one of the two groups I mentioned in my last blog entry who oppose SB 148.
SB 148 does not prohibit or even discourage embryonic stem cell research; the focus of the bill is solely on non-embryonic stem cell research and establishing an umbilical cord blood bank. If Dr. Csete wants bills promoting embryonic stem cell research in the GA General Assembly she needs to contact her elected officials to 'get the ball rolling.' A passed SB 148 will not block such an initiative.
I understand that Dr. Csete is passionate about her field of study and feels the need to voice her opinion, and I am thankful we live in a country where Dr. Csete can voice her opinion freely, but I only wish she would think of the greater good that is possible by the passing of SB 148. Is Keone Penn, first person to be cured of sickle cell via an umbilical cord blood transplant, not evidence of the greater good?
Not to sound harsh, but also staying true to speaking my mind, I would hope a doctor would have a better argument than saying the omission of an item is hostile judgment. If I would have used such an argument way back when, when I was on the middle school debate team, the debate coach would have pulled me from the podium.
Again, I encourage you to review Senator Shafer's website for SB 148, the Saving the Cure Act. Navigate the site to read various letters of support and newspaper articles regarding the bill along with the names of organizations that support SB 148.
When you email the House and Technology Committee please copy Senator Shafer (David.Shafer@senate.ga.gov). For your ease, you may copy and paste the emails of the Science and Technology members from below:
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please share information regarding SB 148 with coworkers, friends, and family. Encourage them to contact the House and Technology Committee. With our support this bill can be released from committee and eventually passed in the House.
As citizens, it is our jobs to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions in the General Assembly. Their votes speak for us, so we must not fail to inform them of how to represent us, and if they fail to represent us we must take action at the polls .