One of the terrible diseases which affects many of us is Alzheimer’s. Its devastating effects not only affects those who suffer it, but their loved ones as well. It is disheartening to see the person you knew become lost as a result of the disease. Will they recognize you? Will they remember your time with them? How well can they take care of themselves? The more the disease affects them, the worse answers one will get for these questions. It is therefore understandable for someone to want to do something about it, to help those looking for a cure. This is what Newt Gingrich has done this year; as his charity for the month, he has chosen the Alzheimer’s Association:
Our Charity of the Month
Envision a world without Alzheimer’s Disease. A world in which advanced research and brain health have erased the disheartening effects of dementia so patients no longer have to resign themselves to interior confinement and confusion.
This is the vision the Alzheimer’s Association works tirelessly to achieve.
But there is something people should know about the Alzheimer’s Association: it has been listed by many pro-life sites as an advocate for embryonic stem cell research. As quoted on the American Life League site, their policy, though a bit vague, indicates their desire to have no restrictions placed on stem cell research (which would include embryonic stem cell research):
The Alzheimer’s Association’s policy, adopted in June 2004 by the national Board of Directors, states that: ‘In keeping with its mission to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association opposes any restriction or limitation on human stem cell research, provided that appropriate scientific review, and ethical and oversight guidelines are in place.’
One might think these ethical reviews would include pro-life reviews which would say one cannot destroy an embryo, a child, for the sake of stem cells. Yet, this appears not to be the case. They are, as Life International also indicates, on the record of supporting federal funding for embryonic stem cell research This is not to say they lobby for it, and they point out that they have not put resources into such lobbying. This does not mean, however, they do not benefit from the lobbying of others. Indeed, they point to such efforts on their site, such as with the recent panel discussion, “Alzheimer’s Disease: How Stem Cell Research Will Make a Difference.”
The questions then are then these: can one give charitable money to the Alzheimer’s Association? What should Newt’s promotion of the Alzheimer’s Association mean to someone who stands for the Gospel of Life?