Spinal Confusion

...an attempt to clarify confusing and innacurate information in science articles

Friday, March 17, 2006

LifeNews Exploiting Dana Reeve's Death

Tim Quayle, writing for LifeNews.com, mourns the fact that the mainstream media (allegedly) omitted the fact that Dana Reeve supported stem cell research.
The national media was full of broken hearts last week when Dana Reeve died at 44, after nearly a decade of caring for disabled “Superman” star Christopher Reeve. It was obvious from the coverage that this woman had won hearts and made friendships in the media elite. But something strange happened in all the laudatory waves of coverage. Someone shrunk her activism.

It’s common for reporting on embryo-destroying stem cell research to leave out the embryo-destroying part. But the tear-stained accounts of Reeve’s sudden end often left out the words “stem cell” as well.
My guess is this guy doesn't consult Google. From a post I made elsewhere last Saturday:
Google News currently returns 1690 results for dana-reeve.

201 results reference her support of stem cell research.

Only 3 results reference her work toward passing the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Act.

Stem Cells - mentioned once in every (approximately) 8.5 stories.

CRPA - mentioned once in every (approximately) 563 stories.
Tim Quayle appears saddened that the media outlets he sampled placed her support for a cure for paralysis over her support for ESC research, but he goes on to use her death to promote his agenda. No matter what you think of someone's opinions, it is rather tacky, and uncool, to use their death to lecture people.

Tim, learn some tact. In my opinion, your spiel does harm to the Pro-Life community. Those who carefully picked over her words to push their agenda, intentionally omitting facts that don't fit their preconceived perceptions, do the same to their respective agendas.

To the best of my knowledge, Dana Reeve's primary focus was on improving the Quality of Life of people until the day a cure arrives. Not stem cells, and not a cure for paralysis -- although they were an important focus.

She wanted people to live with a decent Quality of Life -- and that's something everyone should respect.