Republican Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) today joined with Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) to introduce a bipartisan bill to direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to prioritize life-affirming stem cell research with near-term benefits for human patients and to refrain from creating or destroying human embryos in the process.
“This bipartisan bill prioritizes stem cell research that has a real impact on patients suffering right now while ensuring that research is conducted ethically with destroying human embryos,” said Banks. “HHS and NIH both perform important life-saving research and promoting research that protects life has support on both sides of the aisle.”
If enacted, the Banks legislation would direct HHS to prioritize stem cell research that has the greatest potential for near-term benefit in human patients. The bill also prohibits such research from creating or destroying human embryonic stem cells in the process.
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The bill would direct the HHS Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the NIH, to publish final guidelines to ensure all future research prioritizes the potential for near-term clinical benefit in human patients while refraining from creating or destroying human embryos in the process. Additionally, the bill would require the HHS Secretary to submit a report each fiscal year outlining the number of stem cell research proposals that were peer reviewed, a summary of all related proposals that were not funded and a subsequent explanation for why they failed to receive funding.