Stem cell bill approved by Senate

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by wrthster, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. wrthster

    wrthster New Member

    Hi all,

    This stem cell bill was just passed in the Senate and prior in the House. This is very important for all of us here on the board. President Bush in his "infinite wisdom" will most likely veto the bill again. Since all of us need this to move forward, it would be nice especially for those with Republican Senators and Congressman to contact their offices and let them and let them know how strongly you feel. You can even email them. We can complain or we can take action. Here is the story.


    By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent
    Wed Apr 11, 7:24 PM ET



    WASHINGTON - A stubborn Senate voted Wednesday to ease restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, ignoring President Bush's threat of a second veto on legislation designed to lead to new medical treatments.

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    The 63-34 vote was shy of the margin that would be needed to enact the measure over presidential opposition, despite gains made by supporters in last fall's elections.

    "Not every day do we have the opportunity to vote to heal the sick," said Claire McCaskill (news, bio, voting record), D-Mo., a senator less than 100 days following a tough 2006 campaign in which the stem cell controversy played a particularly prominent role. "It is a noble cause," she added.

    "We're going to use federal money, indirectly or directly, to destroy embryos," countered Sen. Tom Coburn (news, bio, voting record), R-Okla., echoing Bush's argument against the measure. Coburn said claims of imminent scientific breakthroughs from embryonic stem cell research are unsubstantiated and that adult stem cells have been shown to be useful in a variety of cases.

    The House, which passed similar legislation earlier in the year, is expected to adopt the Senate's version in the next several weeks for Bush's veto.

    The Senate bill, Bush said, "is very similar to legislation I vetoed last year. This bill crosses a moral line that I and many others find troubling. If it advances all the way through Congress to my desk, I will veto it," the president said in a statement after the vote.

    Despite the criticism, the bill's chief sponsor urged the president to give the bill another look. "I urge him to reconsider this bill and sign it. Unleash America's scientists," said Sen. Tom Harkin (news, bio, voting record), D-Iowa.

    Capping two days of debate, the Senate also voted 70-28 to pass a separate measure backed by Republicans. It supported research in adult stem cells.

    Bush said this legislation builds on "ethically appropriate research" and he urged Congress to pass the measure "so stem cell science can progress, without ethical and cultural conflict."

    The Senate's action was the latest act in a drama that blends science and politics on an issue that affects millions of disease sufferers and their families.

    "It's extremely frustrating to go through this Kabuki dance a second time with the president," said Peter Kiernan, head of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which funds research.

    "The one thing we know is we will outlast him."

    Stem cells are created in the first days after conception. They are typically culled from frozen embryos, which are destroyed in the process. According to the National Institutes of Health Web site, scientists have been able to conduct experiments with embryonic stem cells only since 1998.

    The embryonic stem cells have the ability to transform into a "dazzling array of specialized cells," the Web site says — the property that scientists and others say offers the potential for the development of treatment for diseases as varied as juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

    There was no federal money for the work until Bush announced on Aug. 9, 2001, that his administration would make it available for lines of stem cells that were in existence. Elected with the strong support of abortion foes and other conservatives, he said at the time his decision was designed to balance concerns about "protecting life and improving life."

    He also limited the funds to cell lines derived from embryos that were surplus at fertility clinics, and that had been donated from adults who had given informed consent.

    Advocates of the veto-threatened legislation argue that the number of stem cell lines available for research is smaller than needed, and that some of the material has become contaminated over time by mouse embryonic skin cells that typically are placed at the bottom of culture dishes used in the research.

    The bill would permit funding for research on embryonic stem cells regardless of the date of their creation, so long as they were donated from in-vitro fertilization clinics, they would "otherwise be discarded" and donors gave their approval.

    Bush cast the only veto of his presidency on a stem cell bill last year, but public support for the research is strong, and Democrats sought to use that to their advantage in the 2006 election campaigns.

    Missouri became a testing ground, McCaskill challenging GOP Sen. Jim Talent, who opposed expanded federally funded research. Michael J. Fox appeared in a television ad advocating greater research, and the visual image was arresting — the 45-year-old actor swaying from his Parkinson's disease.

    With federal funding limited, several states and private institutions have moved into the void.

    California, New York and New Jersey have programs. Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts recently announced he hoped to overturn restrictions left in place by his Republican predecessor.

    "We in Massachusetts increasingly see this as a competitive issue," said Dr. George Daley of Children's Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. He said private institutions compete to hire promising scientists drawn to the field.

    "I would say it's revolutionized biomedical research," he said. Rebutting claims by critics, he said, "You can't expect a cell which burst on the scene only as recently as 1998 to have found its way into patients yet. I don't know of any biological technology that translates into patients that soon."

    But Carrie Gordon Earll, bioethics analyst at Focus on the Family, said that apart from the issue of embryo destruction, the inevitable result of the contested legislation would be to reduce funding available for adult stem cell work, which she said is more advanced.

    "To our knowledge there are no clinical trials with human embryonic stem cells under way and there are 1,300 adult stem cell trials," she said, adding, "The destruction of embryos is not necessary for the advancement of regenerative research," she added.


    Treating Diabetes With Stem Cells
    Stem cells from patients with diabetes may help treat their insulin dependence.

    Play video | » More ABC News video
  2. dialow

    dialow New Member

    This bill is tantamount to approval for human cloning. Stem cells are far more prolific in cord blood and amniotic fluid, and since the cells are more mature, there is a far greater chance that they will "behave" as intended, targeting specific diseases and conditions without the side-effects of abberantly growing tumors. EMBRYONIC stem cells are not really the most effective. Why destroy the embryo when other, BETTER options are more readily available? And why should the government be involved in funding it in any case?? It should be funded through Private corporations, just as most other medical research is.
    Grace
    P>S>--I have suffered from FM, RA and SLE for over 20 years--these diseases cost me a challenging career in Microbiology/ virology, and I want a cure as much as everyone else suffering!
    [This Message was Edited on 04/11/2007]
  3. mossrose101

    mossrose101 New Member

    As you said, everyone is entitled to their opinion but you wont like mine either. I agree with Dialow completely and will be calling my legislators to let them know. That is what is so great about this country; we all have different opinions and can voice them freely. Sorry you feel that I am doing a disservice to this community but that is your opinion and you are entitled to it.
  4. momof471

    momof471 New Member

    I'm not college educated, I don't know big words, but I do know this is wrong. There are the other ways to obtain stem cells and doing it from the embryo's just smacks of playing God or creator, whatever your belief's. Its wrong.
  5. mujuer

    mujuer New Member

    that just about a month ago on the national news that they(medical community) just proved that they can now get stem cells from umbilical cords or placentas. Did anybody else see this? p
  6. turtletoes

    turtletoes New Member

    I have suffered with FM now for almost 13 years....and as bad as it is...I would rather continue to suffer than kill a baby to * maybe * find a cure.
  7. wrthster

    wrthster New Member

    You all are entitled to your opinions, but I could not disagree with you more. There is no "killing of embyros" here, I do not know why people look at this as killing babies. It is uninformed right wing propoganda!

    This is about life, this is about taking stem cells from embryos that would be discarded or destroyed anyway. I do not know why all right wing conservative people try to put this as "Killing Babies" It is terrible, because if that was true do you people think any of us would want to see a baby die to save ourselves? Come one, that is really very insulting and how could people think that one could be that selfish? And quite frankly it is very insulting.

    I think with all due respect intened, mabye all of you should read more on it, and realize what they do with these embyros. They destroy them. Which is better, destroying them or putting them towards scientific research? And if anyone on here is waiting for a drug company to come up with a magic bullet, unfortunately I think all of us know the answer to that one. It is really disappointing to see how divided the CFIDS/ME community really is, not just on this issue here on the board, but the doctors, the National CFIDS Association, and other CFIDS Organization, ect. Until we as a community get together and "on the same page" like the cancer, diabetes, and the aids communites are, we will be kept in the black and continue to pay a heavy price in making no progress at all. It is a real tragedy because so many of us here have suffered for so long. And I see very little to advance treatments.
  8. roge

    roge Member

    well said!

    could not agree with you more!

    I think the problem with this thread and issue is that it is highly ethical issue as well as it no doubt brings religion into it as most catholics will do anything to not destroy life, they are against abortion, against doctor assisted suicide ...you know the drill...preserve LIFE at all costs and I mean at all costs.

    dont worry man, try not to let these posters get you too irritated, just not worth it

    peace dood





  9. wrthster

    wrthster New Member

    Thank you very much for the support. I am glad to see someone else who get's it. It is not a religous issue, it is a matter of educating oneself and understanding that no one wants to kill babies! How freaking stupid is that. I guess that is why this country elected Bush into the white house. And look at the price we are paying for it.

    I am sure Michael J Fox, and Christopher Reeves really wants or wanted to kill innocent babies, even though Chris Reeves had children of his own. And you are correct, there is no reason to let some of these posters get to me. It would just be nice to see them take the time to really read and understand the issue especially when they have suffered for so long.