Letters to the Editor

Stem cell concerns

The Bee's editorial plea [March 28] to the state of California to "be fair" and grant $2.6 million to Jang-Won Lee, Ph.D. in molecular developmental biology (no M.D. after his name) in spite of his affiliation with a business currently under a cloud, is hasty, especially when there are more concerns about the medically-related conglomerate he works for than those mentioned by The Bee, concerns sufficient to give any state handing out money plenty of pause.

The Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights pointed out that Kwang-Yul Cha, Jang-Won Lee's ultimate boss, is violating California law by using M.D. after his name though not licensed to practice medicine in California, and that Cha is chairman of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, recently implicated in dumping homeless patients on skid row.

This watchdog group has also asked for clarification of the relationship between Cha's institute and various for-profit corporate parents.

Since California's intent, although fundamentally misguided by its exclusive dedication to research destructive of the youngest human beings, is to relieve human suffering, how does it happen that proposed recipients of its grants need not even be physicians?

Roberta Genini