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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.

 
Embryonic stem cell debate moves to N.J.
Posted on Nov 2, 2007 | by Michael Foust TRENTON, N.J. (BP)--The nationwide debate over stem cell research moves to New Jersey Tuesday, when voters in the cash-strapped state will decide whether to borrow $450 million through bonds to fund the most controversial type of such research -- embryonic.

Passage of Public Question 2 would move New Jersey to the forefront of embryonic stem cell research, which necessarily requires the destruction of the tiny human beings and which has yet to produce any cures, despite much hype.

[And because this is The Baptist Press, the article later says:]

The proposal's fine print makes it clear the research would fund embryonic stem cell research -- and apparently therapeutic cloning. Although the proposal bans reproductive cloning -- that is, cloning that produces a child -- it is silent on cloning that doesn't result in a birth, which is known as therapeutic cloning. With that latter type of cloning, an embryo is cloned simply to allow the harvesting of its stem cells. Such cloning in theory could give scientists an unlimited supply of embryos.

"It definitely means they're going to be cloning and killing human beings," Tasy said. "They're denying it because they've redefined cloning and they're hoping the people will be fooled. And yet, they're lying to the voters and claiming there will be no human cloning."

Continue reading.

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[While some ratchet up the emotionally charged rhetoric with references to "killing human beings," others approach the issue with more mercenary concerns:]

Cherry Hill Courier Post

Vote 'yes' Tuesday on stem-cell bond act

Sunday, November 4, 2007 -- The bond issue offers a sizable return on investment. Even in these tight times, it's a deal worth taking.

On Tuesday, New Jersey voters will be asked to approve a $450 million bond to fund stem-cell research over 10 years. In a state perennially struggling to pay its bills, it might seem foolish for voters to support more spending.

Yet, this is a case where New Jerseyans can get back a lot more than they pay. New Jersey could be in the forefront of research leading to cures and improved treatment for diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer's. The state's patients would be first in line to benefit.

And as the state's biotechnology industry expands, hundreds of new jobs and thousands of dollars in additional state revenue, as well as royalties from the work of government-backed scientists, could be realized.

[Later on, the author mentions the embryonic stem cell controversy, while attempting to minimize the anticipated use of embryonic cells.]

The money will allow researchers to follow their investigations wherever they lead, including to controversial embryonic stem-cell research. Some scientists complain the Bush administration's opposition to this approach has hobbled researchers. The bond money will lift this restriction, but that doesn't mean most of the money will be spent on investigating embryonic stem cells. For example, Coriell is doing adult stem-cell research that could help save the lives of heart-attack patients.

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