March 26, 2009
Members of President's Bioethics Council Voice Objections
Ten members of the President’s Council on Bioethics have issued a statement raising concerns about President Obama’s decision to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
They criticize Obama's characterization of what actually took place in 2001, since President Bush never banned embryonic stem cell research. "The aim of this policy was not to shackle scientific research but to find a way to reconcile the need for research with the moral concerns people have," they say.
The council members say that pluripotent stem cell research has eclipsed embryonic research. They argue, "Because producing them does not require human ova, and because they are patient-specific stem cells that are less likely to be rejected by their recipients, they also have distinct scientific advantages.
The authors write that Obama's decision would encourage cloning human embryos that then must be destroyed. "We cannot believe that this would advance our society’s commitment to equal human dignity," they write.
(h/t Emily Belz)