Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005

Here is part of the text of H.R.810 that deals with the Ethical Requirements:
`(b) Ethical Requirements- Human embryonic stem cells shall be eligible for use in any research conducted or supported by the Secretary if the cells meet each of the following:
`(1) The stem cells were derived from human embryos that have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics, were created for the purposes of fertility treatment, and were in excess of the clinical need of the individuals seeking such treatment.

`(2) Prior to the consideration of embryo donation and through consultation with the individuals seeking fertility treatment, it was determined that the embryos would never be implanted in a woman and would otherwise be discarded.

`(3) The individuals seeking fertility treatment donated the embryos with written informed consent and without receiving any financial or other inducements to make the donation.
I highlighted parts of the text that says specifically that the stem cells that would be used would otherwise be discarded.

So, this seems to be the Bush stance: It's immoral to use embryonic stem cells. But we'll provide federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells that are essentially worthless (more on that later). Furthermore, we'll let it be completely legal to use private funding to do something that is immoral. Also, we think it's morally superior to throw away old stem cells than to use these otherwise discarded stem cells to do research. Throwinng them away is morally acceptable.


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