Human Exceptionalism

Bush Stem Cell Statement

Here is the statement issued today by the White House about the passage of Senate Bills 5 (overturn Bush funding policy) and 30 (fund “alternative” approaches). Agree or disagree with the Bush policy, I think this point made by the President is absolutely true:

My policy unleashed an unprecedented scientific effort using the stem cell lines my policy approved for funding. While encouraging–not banning– research, my policy also ensures that federal funds are not used to create incentives to destroy, or harm, or create living human embryos for purposes of research…

Meanwhile, exciting and significant scientific advances have been reported over the past few years on uses of stem cells that do not involve the destruction of embryos. These advances using adult and other forms of stem cells are exciting. Some have even produced effective therapies and treatments for disease–all without the destruction of human life.

I believe that the President’s policy helped create the environment in which these “alternative” advances have flourished, as well as boosting the drive to find adult stem cell therapies. But be that as it may, you have to say this for the President: He has remained steadfast in defending his principles and even though under withering political pressure, has been as good as his word.

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