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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.

 
The Washington Post, Sunday, June 10, 2007 --
Thursday, June 7. After months of intense lobbying by scientists and patient advocacy groups, the House is ready to vote on legislation that would loosen President Bush's restrictions on the use of human embryos in stem cell research. But that very morning, the lead story in every major newspaper is about research just published in a British journal that shows stem cells can be made from ordinary skin cells.

The work was in mice, but the take-home message that suffuses Capitol Hill is that there is no need to experiment on embryos after all.

If that doesn't sound suspicious, consider this:

Monday, Jan. 8. After months of intense lobbying by scientists and patient advocacy groups, Congress is ready to vote on legislation that would loosen Bush's restrictions on stem cell research. But that very morning, newspapers are touting new research just published in a British journal suggesting that stem cells can be made from easily obtained placenta cells. No need for embryos after all!

Is there a plot afoot?

Lots of lobbyists, members of Congress and even a few scientists are starting to think so.

"It is ironic that every time we vote on this legislation, all of a sudden there is a major scientific discovery that basically says, 'You don't have to do stem cell research,' " Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) sputtered on the House floor on Thursday. "I find it very interesting that every time we bring this bill up there is a new scientific breakthrough," echoed Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), lead sponsor of the embryo access bill. Her emphasis on the word "interesting" clearly implies something more than mere interest.
Although the bill passed easily, the margin was not large enough to override Bush's promised veto.

Continuing reading the article.

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