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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.

 
Dr. Richard Carmona
From Medical News Today, 14 July 2007 -- Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona on Tuesday in a hearing with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said the Bush administration routinely blocked him from speaking out or issuing reports on human embryonic stem cell research, abstinence-only sex education, emergency contraception and other sensitive public health issues while he was serving in the position, the Washington Post reports.

He said the administration often edited his speeches for politically controversial content and encouraged him to attend internal "political pep rallies," the Wall Street Journal reports (Meckler, Wall Street Journal, 7/11). In addition, Carmona said he was required to mention Bush three times on every page of his speeches and was asked to make speeches to promote Republican political candidates, the New York Times reports.

Carmona said the Bush administration told him not to speak about the national debate over whether the federal government should fund embryonic stem cell research (Washington Post, 7/11). Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research currently is allowed only for research using embryonic stem cell lines created on or before Aug. 9, 2001, under a policy announced by Bush on that date. Bush last month vetoed a bill... that would have allowed federal funding for research using stem cells derived from human embryos originally created for fertility treatments and willingly donated by patients (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 6/22).

"Much of the discussion was being driven by theology, ideology (and) preconceived beliefs that were scientifically incorrect," Carmona said, adding, "I thought, 'This is a perfect example of the surgeon general being able to step forward, educate the American public.' ... I was blocked at every turn. I was told the decision had already been made -- 'Stand down. Don't talk about it.' That information was removed from my speeches."

Go to Medical News Today to read the complete article. You will also find links to video segments of some of Carmona's television interviews from a few days ago.

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Stem Cells
Stem Cell Fight!
Bearing Right
Moral Monkey?
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