April 20th 2002

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Articles from this issue:

Cover Story: PM leads Australia down the slippery slope

Urgent action needed to save Australia's sugar industry

The ALP and the embryonic stem cell issue

NSW Euthanasia bill overwhelmingly defeated

Report recommends relaxing controls over violent computer games

Can the Public Service be depoliticised?

Straws in the Wind: Living fossils / Engineers of human souls

Western Australia: MP looks at SA's marijuana laws

Media misrepresentation on stem cell therapy (letter)

Media bias (letter)

Refugees: where do you stand? (letter)

Water and Australia's priorities (letter)

The high price of misplaced idealism

Is the 'war on terrorism' being hijacked?

Peter Singer's utilitarianism

Books: 'The Unsleeping Eye: A Brief History of Secret Police and their Victims' by Robert Stove

Books: 'Children as Trophies?' by Patricia Morgan

Film: Some Like it Hot - a tribute to Billy Wilder

Books available from News Weekly

Books promotion page

Media misrepresentation on stem cell therapy (letter)

by Merle Ross

News Weekly, April 20, 2002


How conveniently the ABC reporters (AM, April 4, 2002) led their listeners to think the stem cell and gene procedure that cured 18-month-old Rhys Evans in Britain of a potentially fatal brain disorder was by using embryonic stem cells.

By a careful sequence of stories and omission of clarification, they could hope nobody heard the fact that the stem cells came from the patient's own body.

The 6.30pm SBS TV news of the same day also carried the story of Rhys Evans, but they were even more careful that the truth of the origin of the stem cells wouldn't get out.

Not only did the reporters sequence the story with the embryonic stem cell research news, but they also made sure that no mention was included anywhere that Rhys supplied his own stem cells.

They used only the general term, "stem cell research". Such manipulation of facts shows that those and, it seems, many other front line reporters are more interested in their agenda than revealing to the suffering that it is adult stem cell research that has had the success, and time and money directed in that direction would be what would give them real hope.

Using stem cells from the patient's own body is not only rewarding scientifically, from a number of case histories, but also completely ethical. Cases where embryonic stem cell therapy initially seemed successful, have ended in disaster.

"Left over embryos" were not produced to be experimented on, therefore it is unethetical to do so.

That it has happened till now doesn't change that fact, while now is the time to rectify the situation.

It is not surprising that the ethical is also the successful.

Merle Ross
Rockhampton, Qld

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