Monday, March 09, 2009

Obama to Reverse Embryonic Stem Cell Funding Policy

President Obama will announced his changes to Bush’s embryonic stem cell funding policy at 11:45 a.m. today according to CBS News. According to the New York Times, he won’t be taking a position on whether federal funds can be used to create or destroy human embryos. He’ll let Congress decide whether to scrap the Dickey Amendment or not and Diane DeGette is working to overturn the policy.
“Dickey-Wicker is 13 years old now, and I think we need to review these policies,” Ms. DeGette said. “I’ve already talked to several pro-life Democrats about Dickey-Wicker, and they seemed open to the concept of reversing the policy if we could show that it was necessary to foster this research.”

Remember how this issue was supposedly only about funding research on the stem cell lines from the “leftover embryos.” Not so much anymore. With the change of administrations, what scientists now want seems to have expanded. The second page of Washington Post article has a quote from George Daley hoping that the funding won’t be restricted to embryonic stem cells created from embryos leftover from IVF but also allow funding on embryonic stem cell lines created.
"We're all waiting to see what the details of the policy will be," said George Daley, a leading stem cell researcher at Children's Hospital Boston. "If the policy were limited to lines exclusively from frozen embryos left over at IVF clinics, that would be a very restricted course and exclude some very important lines."

Obama will also sign a memorandum supposedly designed to keep politics out of science but from the article it sounds more designed to keep prolife ethics out of governmental policies.

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