Bipartisan Congressional Bill Would Promote Adult Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 26, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bipartisan Congressional Bill Would Promote Adult Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 26
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Now that President Bush has vetoed a bill for the second time that would force taxpayers to finance embryonic stem cell research, two members of Congress say it’s again time to look at ethical alternatives. The House members have introduced a bill they say promote stem cell science everyone can rally around.

Reps. Randy Forbes, a Virginia Republican, and Dan Lipinski, an Illinois Democrat, have introduced H.R. 2807, the "Patients First Act."

Their measure would promote research and clinical trials using stem cells that are ethically obtained and show evidence providing clinical benefit for human patients.

With scientists making progress and breakthroughs such as discovery of stem cells in amniotic fluid and embryonic-like stem cells from skin cells, their bill would prioritize this type of ethical and promising research.

The congressmen sent a letter to their colleagues in recent days touting their legislation.

"After the President’s recent veto of S. 5 … it is increasingly important that we turn our focus to more pragmatic ways of encouraging scientific development in the field of stem cells," the pair said.

"The issue of stem cell research [provides] us with both new hope and new fears," the House members add. "While we must devote enormous energy to conquering disease, it is equally important that we pay attention the moral concerns raised by human embryonic stem cell research."

The Forbes-Lipinski bill would also promote the creation of pluripotent stem cells without the creation and destruction of human life. It’s similar to the Isakson bill the Senate approved.

The House voted on a similar measure under suspension of the rules, which required a two-thirds vote. Although a bipartisan majority voted for that bill it did not reach the higher threshold.