The Governor has always opposed unethical destructive stem cell research, but Representative Hardcastle changed his mind on embryonic stem cells and cloning this year.
Hardcastle said the governor’s office didn’t ask him to carry it — as the only member of the Legislature with MS, he said, it’s been on his mind for “a long time” — but one of the governor’s staffers did advise him on it. Somewhat involved, Hardcastle said, was Jones, who has already removed some of Hardcastle’s stem cells to prepare them for re-injection.
A spokeswoman with the Health and Human Services Commission said the agency is in the very early stages of considering whether to create the stem cell bank. A few weeks ago, the agency received a letter from Houston Reps. Beverly Woolley, a Republican, and Senfronia Thompson, a Democrat, expressing their “serious concern” with the measure, for fear it might hinder the work of public and private scientists.
Meanwhile, Texas Medical Board spokeswoman Leigh Hopper said the regulatory agency held a stem cell stakeholder meeting last week — “at the governor’s behest, via Dr. Jones” — to start dialogue about adult stem cell treatments in Texas. The question? If Americans are — like Jones — increasingly flying all over the world to get promising stem cell treatments, shouldn’t Texas be a scientific and economic center for it?