Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Why a Man With Paraplegia Rejects ESCR


James Kelly is an activist friend of mine who is solidly against ESCR and human cloning. Years ago he was in a terrible automobile accident that left him paralyzed--and he has devoted himself ever since to seeking a method of treatment that will help him walk again. He once supported ESCR, and even wrote President Bush urging full federal funding. But the more he researched the issue, the more he came to believe that ESCR may be more hype than hope. He soon "changed sides" as it were and now argues that money invested in ESCR is that much less money available for the non embryonic areas of research where he believes his best chances of effective treatment are to be found. He even debated the late Christopher Reeve about this matter, and has an interesting story to tell about that encounter in which someone placed his hand over Kelly's mouth after the debate to keep him from telling Reeve about adult embryonic stem cell successes in spinal cord injury research.

In the wake of the Hwang scandal, the Seoul Times retained his services as a biotech columnist. He now has this very interesting article out in Human Events. Readers of Secondhand Smoke, I give you James Kelly.


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