They’re fooling us: There is no prohibition against stem cell research
Let’s set the record straight. The rhetoric on stem cell research was misleading in the form in which it spewed out of the Democratic National Convention.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, for example, called for the ban on stem cell research to be lifted. Surely she knows that there is no such ban.
There is a ban on government funding of most embryonic stem cell research.
There is no ban on government funding of adult stem cell research. There is no ban on any stem cell research that is privately funded.
There is not even a ban on government funding of embryonic stem cell research that is done on existing lines of cells.
President Bush imposed the ban on research on embryonic stem cells in which the life has not yet already been sacrificed. He did so because many Americans believe it is sinful to end life in order to conduct research. Without arguing for or against their beliefs, forcing them to sponsor that kind of research would be wrong.
Ron Reagan, the son of the late president, spoke of embryonic stem cell research as if the ban on government funding actually were preventing people from being cured of all types of diseases. This was misleading, too.
Certainly there is hope that all types of stem cell therapy can lead to cures of dread diseases. But you would never have guessed, from listening to Reagan, that embryonic stem cell research has not yet provided a cure for anything. Meanwhile, research on adult stem cells has so far produced treatments for about three dozen medical problems.
There seems to be an orchestrated effort to demagogue this issue. Don’t be fooled.
Published in Editorials on July 30, 2004 11:59 AM