Poll: Americans Think Adult Stem Cell Research Shows Better Promise

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 24, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll: Americans Think Adult Stem Cell Research Shows Better Promise Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 24, 2005

Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — Some politicians and lobbyists say embryonic stem cell research holds the most promise for treating various diseases and conditions, but more Americans join scientists who say the use of adult stem cells should give patients more hope. That’s according to a new poll conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University.

When asked which types of stem-cell research offered the greatest promise for discovering new treatments for disease, the greatest number of respondents (37 percent) cited specific types of adult stem cell sources such as an umbilical cord blood. Another 7 percent cited adult stem cell research in general.

While 44 percent named adult stem cells, just 14 percent said embryonic stem cell research held the greatest promise and only 7 percent said both types hold equal promise.

For pro-life groups that means the public is beginning to understand that adult stem cell research, which has produced cures or treatments for dozens of diseases and conditions, is vastly superior to embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to cure or treat any patients.

The VCU poll says most Americans are either very clear or somewhat clear on the differences between embryonic stem cells, which come from destroying human embryos, or adult stem cells, which are derived from noncontroversial sources. Some thirty-two percent are either not very clear or not at all clear.

The Virginia Commonwealth University poll also found 81 percent of Americans either somewhat or strongly opposed to human cloning.

However, two-thirds of those polled said they don’t know the difference between reproductive and research-based human cloning. Those who were less familiar with what cloning involves were less likely to oppose human cloning.

The VCU Life Sciences Survey was conducted by telephone with 1,002 adults nationwide from Sept. 14 through Sept. 29. The margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 3 percentage points.