News & Policies >
Policies in Focus
Advancing Stem Cell Research In Ethical, Responsible Ways
Research Has Justified President Bushs Commitment To Support Responsible Research On Pluripotent Stem Cells
President Bushs Balanced Stem Cell Policies Are Helping Advance Science And Ethics Together
In 2001, President Bush announced a balanced approach to stem cell research that would allow Federal funding for research using existing embryonic stem cell lines. This policy allowed the Federal government to support research on dozens of existing stem cell lines without sanctioning or encouraging the destruction of additional human embryos.
President Bush is the first President to provide Federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. Since 2001, the Administration has made more than $170 million available for research on stem cell lines derived from human embryos that had already been destroyed. In addition, the Administration has provided nearly $3.7 billion for research on all forms of stem cells, including those from adult and other non-embryonic sources.
The President opposes any attempt to compel American taxpayers to pay for research that relies on the intentional destruction of human embryos. He believes that by enacting appropriate policy safeguards while encouraging the development of new scientific techniques, it is possible to advance science and medicine without violating moral principles.
President Bush has encouraged scientific advancement of stem cell research within ethical boundaries by avoiding techniques that destroy life, while vigorously supporting alternative approaches. Research indicates that pluripotent stem cells those that have the potential to develop into nearly all the cell types and tissues in the body can be derived without using or harming embryos. The President has long supported these non-embryonic techniques, and there has been exciting progress over the past couple of years:
The President has acted to strengthen our Nations commitment to conduct research on pluripotent stem cells. In June 2007, he signed an Executive Order to expand support for these non-destructive research methods and make it more likely that exciting advances in this area will continue. The Order:
In September 2007, the NIH implemented the Presidents Executive Order. The plan contained a number of new or accelerated activities, including two fresh funding streams to stimulate research on human pluripotent stem cells derived from non-embryonic sources:
In April 2008, the Department of Defense announced the creation of the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM), a new partnership among the Federal government, universities, and private companies. Regenerative medicine is a promising new field focused on the repair and replacement of tissues and organs, which has been made possible in part by progress in stem cell research. The Centers goal is to take ethical stem cell-based innovations out of the lab and make them a life-improving reality for our wounded warriors and other Americans.
In his 2008 State of the Union Address, President Bush called on Congress to pass legislation that bans unethical practices such as the buying, selling, patenting, or cloning of human life.
# # #