Friday, October 05, 2007

Hilllary Clinton wants federal tax dollars to pay for research on stem cells from cloned human embryos

From the New York Times:
"We have to be steered by values and morals," Mrs. Clinton said yesterday, and she pointed to guidelines drawn up by the National Institutes of Health during her husband's administration as a kind of "ethical framework" through which such work could advance.

For example, she said, the use of embryonic stem cells to create tissue whose DNA is identical to that of an ailing person, a process called therapeutic cloning, "is within the ethical framework."
There you have it. The leading Democratic candidate for president is saying it's within the "ethical framework" of the NIH Guidelines to do research on embryonic stem cells created by cloning human embryos and killing them for their stem cells. Notice how the reporter seems to be equating "therapeutic cloning" (a term used by proponents of human cloning for research for the process of creating cloned human embryos for research purposes) with turning embryonic stem cells from cloned human embryos into tissue.

Hillary is also misleading reporters about the NIH guidelines created under her husband. Those guidelines say the federal government should only fund research using stem cells from human embryos if those cells were harvested from frozen IVF embryos "in excess of clinical need."
To ensure that early human embryos donated for research are in excess of clinical need of the individuals seeking infertility treatment and to allow potential donors time between the creation of the embryos for infertility treatment and the decision to donate for research purposes, only frozen early human embryos should have been used to derive human pluripotent stem cells. In addition, individuals undergoing infertility treatment should have been approached about donation of early human embryos for the derivation of pluripotent stem cells only at the time of deciding the disposition of embryos in excess of clinical need.
The NIH Fact Sheet on Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Guidelines makes this point ever clearer.
For studies using human pluripotent stem cells derived from human embryos, NIH funds may be used only if the cells were derived from frozen embryos that were created for the purposes of fertility treatment, were in excess of clinical need, and were obtained after the consent of the donating couple.

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