Safety Valve: Letters from readers
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Medical research needs support
As we head into this next election season, I want to suggest that everyone learn more about the role our government has played in funding medical research and what funding levels are likely to be in the future.
I am a cancer patient receiving treatment within the scope of a research clinical trial at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, I was treated using new procedures developed over the past 10 years. Current medical research has put my cancer into remission.
My clinical trial does not include a big pharma chemo drug. Instead, the primary drug, fenretinide, was developed by the National Cancer Institute i.e. a drug that you and I helped create. Also, this clinical trial was in part paid for by U.S. government grants to researchers at cancer institutes around the country. I am a supporter of such grants. I think it’s a great investment in a healthier future for everyone. If we don’t keep learning about cancer and viable treatment options, then we can easily predict what our options will be.
Regardless of where one receives their cancer treatment, research benefits all. Until we get a Department of Cures, it’s up to us. Please consider lending your support for medical research by calling your representatives and share how important it is to you to continue funding medical research. Thank you for taking this vital step to communicate your values. Thanks!
Old Glory stolen
We have flown the same American flag in front of our house since we moved in three years ago. We keep a light on it at night and respect all etiquette towards the flag. As this old flag started to fade and show wear we decided to properly retire it with a ceremony which included my two young daughters so they could learn respect for our country’s flag. A new flag was hung out to replace the old one. I sewed a strip of canvas along the back edge and installed a couple of grommets so it was displayed properly. This new flag was only out for a couple days and someone came up in our yard and stole the flag and it’s pole. There has been some crime and vandalism in the neighborhood lately. We can only hope the thief can someday learn for themselves and teach their children repect and etiquette for the American flag. At this time we placed a very small inexpensive flag out in place of the missing one and haven’t decided if we want to chance having another larger one stolen again.
The science of homosexuality
A number of researchers have sought to find a biological cause for homosexual attraction. The media has promoted the idea that a “gay gene” has already been discovered, yet none of the much publicized studies have been scientifically replicated to show that this is the case. There is no credible scientific evidence that homosexuality is genetically determined.
This is born out in identical (monozygotic) twin studies, separated early in life, in which one twin was gay and the other was not. If genetically determined, both twins would be gay. The histories of the twins revealed environmental factors which adequately explained the development of different orientations in genetically similar children.
If there is no credible evidence that homosexual attractions are genetically determined, why has the idea received so much publicity? Several studies have suggested that when people believe that homosexuality is genetically determined and immutable, they are more likely to respond positively to demands for changes in laws, legal protection and religious teaching.
Natural law, dignity of the human person and free will are all tenets of faith in our Christian world view. Genesis teaches that God created man, male and female, in his image and likeness. Sexuality was designed by God to be enjoyed by a man and his wife in holy matrimony for the good and perpetuation of the human race. Healthy psychosexual development leads naturally to the attraction of the opposite sex. Persons should not be identified with their emotional conflicts or sinful inclinations, as though this were the essence of their identity. In the debate with the secular world view, we hold to natural law in that human beings have an essential nature, either male or female, and that since sinful inclinations, as homosexuality, are constructed, they can be deconstructed and forgiven.
Dale T. Peterson, MD
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