Obama Admin Forces Americans to Pay for More Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   Steven Ertelt   Dec 16, 2009   |   9:00AM    WASHINGTON, DC

Obama Admin Forces Americans to Pay for More Embryonic Stem Cell Research

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 16
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Obama administration on Monday forced Americans to pay for another round of embryonic stem cell research involving the destruction of human life. National Institutes of Health chief Francis Collins approved taxpayer funding of 27 more lines of embryonic stem cells.

The cells can only be obtained by destroying unborn children days after conception — at which point human embryos are unique human beings.

The embryonic stem cells in question are 27 lines from Harvard University used in diabetes-related pancreatic cell experiments.

Embryonic stem cell research has yet to be tried in human patients because of its failure when used on animals. The cells cause tumors and prompt the immune system to reject them. However, adult stem cell research has resulted in cures or treatments for more than 100 different diseases and conditions.

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama issued an executive order overturning the limits President Bush put in place on any new embryonic stem cell research funding. Bush directed federal dollars mostly to adult stem cells that are already helping patients now.

The Obama administration already approved federal funding for 13 lines from Children’s Hospital in Boston and, on October 12, the Harvard researchers submitted an application for funding of their lines.

In their application, they noted they had gathered the human embryos from fertility clinics where they were "leftover" even though national embryo adoption programs are in place to allow these people to be born. The consent forms fertility clinic patients signed listed their use as diabetes research.

For that reason, "NIH-funded research with this line is limited," the registry says, to "study the embryonic development of (tissue) with a focus on pancreatic formation," with the aim of "producing cells that produce insulin, for transplantation into diabetics."

USA Today indicates an advisory committee issued the recommendation for the limitation of their use with federal funds and NIH director Collins apparently agreed.

The approval puts 40 embryonic stem cell lines on the NIH registry that qualify for taxpayer funding and more lines are in the queue for review.

The Family Research Council responded to the Obama administration’s move by saying that adult stem cells are already helping diabetes patients.

"Of course, when it comes to juvenile (type I) diabetes, adult stem cells have already shown success at treating diabetes patients," the pro-life group noted.

It added, "Interestingly, none of the human embryonic stem cell lines approved thus far are from the original group of 21 lines that had been receiving NIH funding, only one (H1–one of the original five Thomson lines) has been submitted for approval, with only two other lines from Cellartis supposedly to be submitted for review."

"This is surprising given that the vast majority of human embryonic stem cell research has been done with those previous lines, thus forcing most embryonic stem cell researchers to start over on experiments with new lines" the group continued.

"It also shows that this gold rush is just that, an attempt to grab more money built on embryo destruction, not built on science," FRC concluded.

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