Michael J. Fox, the actor who has been one of the chief celebrity spokesmen on behalf of embryonic stem-cell treatment, is now admitting that the morally repugnant research has not provided the cure that he and others had hope for such illnesses as his Parkinson’s disease. LifeNews.com recalled that Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the early 1990s, “was one of the leading campaigners for embryonic stem cell research. He aggressively pushed to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem-cell research, opposed pro-life limits on it, and even attended a State of the Union address by President George W. Bush in order to flaunt his position.” But with years of such research offering no promising results, Fox is now among the once-hopeful proponents conceding that embryonic stem-cell lines will most likely not yield the cures once confidently promised by researchers looking for tax funding.
Fox told ABC’s Diane Sawyer that there have been “problems along the way” with the research into a cure for Parkinson’s using embryonic stem cells, adding that other drug therapies show more promise of helping stave off the symptoms. Fox, however, was unwilling to call the unfruitful stem-cell research a failure. “Stem cells are an avenue of research that we’ve pursued and continue to pursue, but it’s part of a broad portfolio of things that we look at,” he told Sawyer. “There have been some issues with stem cells, some problems along the way.”
He argued that “it’s not so much that [stem-cell research has] diminished in its prospects for breakthroughs as much as it’s the other avenues of research have grown and multiplied and become as much or more promising. So, an answer may come from stem cell research, but it’s more than likely to come from another area.”