Sunday, May 29, 2005

Stem Cell Dress of The Day: Thick Skin

Sometimes things get personal in the stem cell business. Just ask stem cell chairman Robert Klein and California State Sen. Deborah Ortiz, who have been at loggerheads concerning California's stem cell agency.

Motives are maligned and heated words are bandied about, if not by the players by the observers and advocates.

Now comes a comment from Don C. Reed, a well-known patient advocate on stem cell issues. He wrote a letter printed in The Sacramento Bee Sunday that involved a statement that he made that he believes was misconstrued. But indirectly he leads us to what may be more important points. Civility and mutual respect are important elements in the public debate about stem cell issues. That does not mean the dialogue should be less than vigorous or less than forthright. Participants have a responsibility to press their points aggressively.

Stem cell matters also can be emotional, a fact that cannot be avoided, but an irritation for some, especially those from cloistered environments(that includes business). So thick skins are the order of the day.

Finally Reed reflects a little on the history of the stem cell movement, saying, "We would not be here without the pioneering efforts of Senator Deborah Ortiz. Her legislation made California the first stem-cell-friendly state in the nation. In my heart, I will always regard her as the mother of stem cell legislation."

No doubt he would also have much the same sentiments about Robert Klein -- aside from the motherhood part. Sphere: Related Content

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