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Posts Tagged ‘Rep. John Wilson’

Kansas Democrat State Rep. John Wilson (left) expressed regret to MSCTC conferees Dr. David Prentice and Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn for not voting with the majority in 2013 to create the successful stem cell center.

Once in a blue moon, a lawmaker publicly admits he regrets how he voted. Those of us present at Tuesday’s hearing in the Kansas House Health & Human Services committee witnessed such a concession.

The focus of the hearing was the status report on the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center (MSCTC), given primarily by Board advisor, Dr. David Prentice and the Director, Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn. The room was packed and the presentation was positively uplifting.

Gov. Sam Brownback, along with the Kansas Legislature, had approved the formation of the MSCTC in 2013 to be housed at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. The Center is designed to serve as a regional hub of stem cell therapy, research, and education as well as an engine for increased processing of ethically-derived, “adult” stem cells (ASCs) for patient use.

There are numerous kinds of ASCs derived from different human tissues (see graphic). The point is that no ASCs require the destruction of human embryos.

In 2013, those paying careful attention to the stem cell issue realized the overblown expectations about the usefulness of stem cells derived from human embryos. Yet state Rep. John Wilson (D-Lawrence) was still unconvinced of the need to fund a patient-centered medical center using only non-embryonic stem cells. He voted against the measure, although the MSCTC passed.

On Tuesday, during the Q&A period, Wilson congratulated the Center for its success and acknowledged that he regretted voting against its creation. KFL later thanked Wilson for his remarks and joined him in his enthusiasm for the Center.

ADULT STEM CELL PROJECTS
Dr. Prentice, a native Kansan and frequent expert testifying on bioethical issues at the Kansas Statehouse, described ASC therapies as the “gold standard” in regenerative medicine, with over 1.5 million people having been treated to date, world-wide.

His presentation examined the real patients who are benefitting from the current therapies offered at the MSCTC, such as 300 patients annually receiving stem cells in collaboration with the KU Cancer Center.

Prentice detailed some specific projects already underway, some in pre-clinical research phase, and others in planning stages. They include numerous new and innovative uses for ASCs targeting the brain, heart, spinal cord, liver, and joints.

Of particular interest is the groundbreaking direction MSCTC is taking on “graft-versus-host” disease, which can be a serious complication for some bone marrow adult stem cell transplants. Graft-versus-host is a problem in which stem cells not derived from the patient are introduced into the patient to replace those lost through chemo/radiation, but the cells begin to attack the new “host” as foreign.

MSCTC’s director, cardiologist Dr. Dawn, is described by Prentice as one of the world leaders in cardiac repair technologies. With Dr. Dawn and other specialists at the Center, patients with severe heart ailments– formerly “without hope”– are given hope with adult stem cells.

Director Dawn pointed proudly to the Center’s accomplishments in a mere 3 ½ years, and described continuing efforts to collaborate with other scientists and private companies as well as develop methods and products that can be patented.

The fifth MSCTC annual conference is scheduled for September 15-16. Details about it and the Center can be found at http://www.kumc.edu/msctc.html.

The Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center, committed to advancing the use of ethical science, is proving itself to be everything we hoped for.

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Rep. Lance Kinzer

Rep. Lance Kinzer

The Kansas House today provisionally passed HB 2253, an updated version of last year’s Pro-Life Protections Act, with a final vote to be taken Wednesday. UPDATE Mar.20: Passed 92-31

The bill–which passed without any of the four hostile amendments offered–

  • removes tax breaks for abortionists and tax funding of abortion & abortion training;
  • codifies informed consent already created and in use by KDHE (state health dept.);
  • unifies abortion statute definitions;
  • adopts ‘Life begins at conception/fertilization’ as basis for legislation; and
  • improves support for medically-challenging pregnancies and disabled children.

Opponents’ game plan today was to introduce a new headline for the liberal press—which ate it right up—that Kansas rejected a rape exception for abortion. Nevermind that the ‘exception’ was actually a bold attempt to overthrow ALL state abortion regulation from the past two decades with one floor amendment. The headline got through, to be sent out on social media.

Neither did abortion supporters brush aside their usual untruths that the Kansas bill is ‘sweeping’ and forces doctors to lie to women that abortion causes breast cancer. No matter how many times the truth is told that the bill contains over 50 pages of required tax statutes, and that abortionists will not be required to utter any KDHE scripted remarks, they will ignore it.

The most vocal opponent, as usual, was long-retired anesthesiologist, Rep. Barbara Bollier with her perennial complaint that the bill was medically inaccurate. “I’m so disappointed in you all who have not gone to medical school, who have not gone to nursing school and think you know better. It’s shameful” said the Republican from Mission Hills, addressing the House.

Bollier has many ‘facts’ wrong, for example,

there is no phrase “abortion-causes breast-cancer” in the state informed consent materials, or in this bill that codifies those materials—no matter how many times she repeats it.

Even though she was made to admit at the podium, near the end of debate, that the first full-term pregnancy is well known to give lifetime risk protection from breast cancer, Bollier stubbornly said that does not prove that abortion has any effect on a pregnancy. She denied the logic of alerting a woman experiencing her first pregnancy of the risk that can result by preventing a full term delivery!

The first of Boiller’s 3 hostile amendments attempted to remove the topic of abortion’s link to breast cancer and pre-term future births from Woman’s Right to Know informed consent materials. Then Bollier tried to delete information describing the pain capability of the unborn child from the same materials. As she did 2 years ago when fighting passage of a law protecting pain-feeling unborn children, Bollier insisted no science backs it up. This time, her defense was more astounding.

First, Bollier—who has not practiced medicine for 14 years, was flat out wrong when she told House members that anesthesia is never given to unborn children directly, but only through their mothers. Then, in an even more insistent and embarrassing display, she argued that unborn children can’t feel pain, or “feel” a stress reaction, they can only “mount” a stress reaction!

HB 2253 bill sponsor, and House Judiciary chairman, Rep Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe), rebutted Bollier:

When it comes to stress reactions I imagine an unborn child does indeed experience stress when being dismembered and having arms and legs torn off. He cited the scientific evidence at doctorsonfetalpain.org.

Retired surgeon, freshman Rep. Shanti Gandhi, (R-Topeka) stood in strong support of the bill: “I come here to confirm one fact that’s indisputable, at least in my case having studied medicine, that is that life does start at conception. If we believe that, I think this bill is too long. All it needs is one paragraph that says life begins at conception.”

Speaking in SUPPORT of the bill were Reps. Kinzer, Gandhi, Steve Brunk (R-Wichita), Peggy Mast (R- Emporia), Allan Rothlisberg (R-Grandview Plaza), and Joe Edwards (R-Haysville).

Speaking in OPPOSITION to the bill were Reps. Bollier, Jim Ward (D-Wichita), Louis Ruiz (D-Kansas City), Anne Kuether (D-Topeka), Annie Tietze (D-Topeka), John Wilson (D-Lawrence), Roderick Houston (D- Wichita), Patricia Sloop (D-Wichita), and Carolyn Bridges (R-Wichita).

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