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Obama Policy Encourages Embryo Destruction
CitizenLink ^ | 7/7/09 | Gary Schneeberger

Posted on 07/08/2009 8:54:12 AM PDT by virtuous

Guidelines for federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research offer incentives for experiments that end human life and have not successfully treated disease.

The Obama administration's final guidelines for federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research do more than remove a small protection for living human embryos.

They actually encourage scientists to destroy preborn human life, courtesy of $10 billion in federal stimulus money designated for biomedical research, including embryonic stem-cell trials.

"The regulations virtually guarantee that many more living human embryos will be destroyed for research," said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior bioethics analyst for Focus on the Family. "This policy also creates a tax-dollar incentive for scientists to destroy human embryos."

The regulations, issued under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), represent the fulfillment of President Barack Obama's March executive order to overturn a Bush administration policy that limited the number of stem-cell lines that could be used in federally funded experiments. Bush's order did not allow taxpayer money to be used on stem cell lines created after Aug. 9, 2001, removing the incentive to destroy additional embryos for government funded research.

That meant existing embryos created by couples through in-vitro fertilization were off-limits to federally funded researchers.

Tim Goeglein, a former Bush aide who now serves as Focus on the Family's vice president of external affairs, called Obama's reversal of the Bush policy "one of the most important domestic, political and policy changes between the two administrations."

"It is a remarkable contrast on the question on the centrality of human life," he said. "It is immoral to have taxpayers funding research that actually requires the destruction of human embryos."

Particularly troubling is that embryonic stem cells have not cured or successfully treated a single patient. By contrast, non-embryonic (or adult) stem cells are readily available in sources such as bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, the pancreas and brain, and no lives are lost in the collection process.

Currently, more than 70 identified diseases and disabilities are treatable using non-embryonic stem cells, including breast cancer, leukemia and sickle cell anemia. Researchers also have successfully treated patients with Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, heart damage and spinal cord injuries using non-embryonic stem cell sources.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, called the NIH guidelines "poor science" and "bad health-care policy."

"The guidelines implement a plan that will force taxpayers to foot the bill for research that involves human destruction, not healing," he said.

Earll pointed out that another tragedy of the policy is that it doesn't require couples be informed of all the options available to them when making a decision about what to do with their embryos, including the ability to "adopt the embryos to another pregnancy-challenged couple."

For that and many other reasons, Goeglein said, "this is a sad and disappointing decision."

"The greatness of the pro-life movement is that it upholds the standards of the moral levees that hold together a culture rooted in human dignity," he noted. "What this policy does is wrong. And we should say that.

"All of us, at one point, were human embryos. Embryos are a central part to human dignity and worth."

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: embryonicstemcell; nih
New NIH guidelines on taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell experiments create new incentives for human embryo destruction - cannibalizing the youngest, most vulnerable lives for speculative science. The rules are ethically irresponsible, scientifically unworthy, and totally unresponsive to the needs of patients for real treatments now.
1 posted on 07/08/2009 8:54:12 AM PDT by virtuous
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To: virtuous
The NAZI doctors at their Nuremberg trials were asked why they experimented on Jews and Gypsies. They said “we did it for science”.
2 posted on 07/08/2009 9:05:54 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: virtuous

destroying embryos to obtaiin stem cells with which to make artificial sperm....WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END???

3 posted on 07/08/2009 9:36:15 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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