Obama reverses Bush-era stem cell policy

Obama reverses Bush-era stem cell policy

Postby PharmD » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:20 am

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Monday paved the way for a significant increase in federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and promised no scientific data will be "distorted or withheld to serve a political agenda."

Obama signed the executive order on the issue of stem cell division and a memorandum to address what he called the scientific integrity to a packed auditorium East Room with scientists. Laced his remarks with several blows to science was handled by former President George W. Bush.

"Promoting science is not just about the provision of resources, it is also about protecting free and open inquiry," said Obama. "This is to allow scientists and do their job today, free of manipulation or coercion, and hear what they say, even when inconvenient, especially when it is inconvenient. This is to ensure that scientific data is not distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda and make decisions based on scientific facts, not ideology. "

"Scientific Integrity"

He said his memo is intended to restore the "scientific integrity to government decision making." He called it the beginning of a process to ensure the administration based its decision on sound science, appointed scientific advisers based on their credentials, not his politics, and is honest about the science behind their decisions.

Fulfilling a campaign promise, Obama signed the order on stem cell research that supporters believe it could find cures for serious diseases from diabetes to paralysis. Supporters of the former first lady Nancy Reagan the late actor Christopher Reeve had pushed to end the restrictions on research.

Obama paid tribute to Reeve, calling him a tireless advocate who dedicated himself to raising the promise of research.

Obama's action reverses the Bush policy of stem cells to undo his 2001 directive that banned federal funding for research on stem cell lines created after August 9, 2001.

The president said his government would work aggressively to recover the said land was lost due to Bush's decision, although we can not know how much federal money is allocated to research grants until they are requested and issued.

"Medical Miracles do not just happen by accident," Obama said.

Embryonic stem cells are master cells that can become any cell in the body. Scientists hope to harness for them to create replacement tissues to treat a variety of diseases - such as new insulin-producing cells for diabetics, the cells that could help people with Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's, or new connections nerve to restore movement after spinal injury.

Criticism and praise

Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, criticized Obama said in a statement that the president had "undone protections for innocent life, further dividing our nation in a time when we need greater unity to confront the challenges before us. "

Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, also expressed his disapproval in a statement, saying: "I support biomedical research and I think the administration would be much better served by the management of taxpayer funds for stem cell research does not embryo, which is both effective and ethical. "

Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., praised the actions of the president, said in a statement: "With today's executive order, President Obama has huge righting a wrong done to the hopes of millions of patients."

Obama's order that reversed regardless separate the legislative ban, which opposes any federal money to develop stem cell lines. The legislation, however, does not preclude funding for research on lines created without federal funds.

Researchers say the newer lines created with private capital during the Bush ban are healthier and better suited to create a treatment for diseases.

Obama called his decision a "difficult and delicate balance," a euphemism for the intense emotions generated on both sides of the debate long and controversial. He said he came by the side of the majority of Americans support increased federal funding for research, both strict monitoring would avoid the problems and the potential to save lives and that it contains.

"Instead of promoting the discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values," Obama said. "In this case, I think the two are not incompatible. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to alleviate human suffering."

Obama warned against overstating the potential benefits of research, but said his government "strongly support scientists who pursue this research," giving another blow to Bush in the process.

Investing in treatment

"I can not guarantee that we will find treatments and cures we seek. No president can promise that. But I can promise that we will seek actively, responsibly and with urgency to regain lost ground," he said.

It's a matter of competitive advantage globally, so, the president argued.

"When the government does not make these investments, opportunities are missed. Promising avenues go unexplored," said Obama.

But the president insisted that his order would not open the door to human cloning.

"We will develop strict guidelines, which we will rigorously enforce because they can not always tolerate misuse or abuse," said Obama. "And we will ensure that our government never open the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It's dangerous, deeply wrong, and has no place in our society or any society."

Adapted from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29586269/ns ... ll-policy/
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