Thursday, May 26, 2005

Stem Cell Research

Stem cell legislation is much in the news now and there are several points which need to made since you won't get an accurate account from TV or the newspapers in most cases. Much of what you hear and read will hold that Bush is pledging to veto stem cell reasearch legislation and as a result we will never cure diseases like diabetes and quadrapedics will never walk again. We need to keep in mind that Bush's decision applies only to federal funding of research involving laboratory-derived embryos. His position does not "ban" anything. He is simply refusing to allow federal funds to be used for research which millions of Americans find morally offensive. At the federal level, funding for stem cell research of all forms is being increased from $306 million to $566 million (using adult and umbilical stem cells). At the state level, California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts all have or will have large stem-cell projects. Some 70 companies, which will eventually profit from the fruits of this research, are also engaged in a wide range of research approaches. I am not sure that I would draw the line exactly where Bush drew it with regard to existing emryos which will be destroyed anyway, but he was elected and the line he drew is certainly logical. We just need to keep in mind that the position being taken by our President is not banning anything. Furthermore, one need not use federal money to do research.

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