The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Advisory Committee recommended withholding federal research funding for embryonic stem cell lines on Wednesday that were thought to be eligible with Obama’s policy. Concerned that one particular sentence would open up to lawsuits, the Committee decided to err on the side of caution.
Days after his inauguration, President Obama reversed President Bush’s policy of restricting the use of federal funds for research on human embryonic stem.
“It’s primarily because there was some language in the consent forms that the NIH Advisory Committee didn’t like,” said Dr. David Prentice, senior fellow for life sciences at the Family Research Council. He considers it a temporary setback.
Prentice notes that embryonic research involves destroying a young human life and more.
“They haven’t helped anybody. They haven’t really helped that many mice in almost 30 years of research. They tend to form tumors instead.”
Meanwhile he lists numerous advances in adult stem cell treatments from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and more.
“They are already treating over 50 thousand patients every year for dozens of diseases like heart damage, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, (and) lots of different cancers.”
He adds that a new report shows a treatment for blindness in which the front layer of the eye had been scarred.
“They took a few little adult stem cells from the edge of their eye,” said Prentice, “and grew a new cornea, popped it on and restored their vision.”
Wesley J. Smith, senior fellow in human rights and bioethics at the Discovery Institute, links the push embryonic stem cell research with the desire of some to conduct human cloning. Another type of research with significant ethical concerns.
“It is human cloning that opens up the potential for genetic engineering of the human species,” said Smith, “as well as fetal farming to grow fetuses and artificial gestation environments, so they can be used eventually for organ harvesting and experimentation.”