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Research on stem cell research legislation and the related legal issues : What is the history of stem cell research legislation in the United States How does it compare to comparable statutes in the rest of the world - Term Paper Example

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The United States, along with several other countries, plays a vital role studying the many medical applications and potential therapeutic advantages of stem cell research. Scientists have conclusively proven that embryonic stem cells have the ability to genetically restore…
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Research paper on stem cell research legislation and the related legal issues : What is the history of stem cell research legislation in the United States How does it compare to comparable statutes in the rest of the world
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Download file to see previous pages Even more amazingly, stem cells have also shown a tremendous potential to repair and regenerate injured spinal cords allowing paralyzed persons to regain bodily movements. The possibilities of stem cell research are endless including appreciably extending life expectancy. Unfortunately politicians and some of their constituents are not scientifically literate, preferring misguided religious prejudices to reason. Laws enacted during Republican administrations since the discovery of this science has acted to retard research but Democratic administrations have promoted this dynamic medical advancement. The future of stem cell research depends, evidently, on which political party occupies the White House.
Scientists developed in vitro fertilization (IVF) resulting in the first “test tube baby” being born in 1978. This procedure made the research of human embryos possible. In 1981, stem cell research was born when scientists isolated the embryonic cells of mouse embryos, a significant achievement. However, President Reagan’s administration was “morally opposed” to this new medical advancement and blocked its advancement. Those against this science claimed it was “playing God” whatever that is supposed to mean. After Reagan contracted Alzheimer’s, Nancy Reagan publically supported the federal funding of stem cell research. The government ban continued under the Bush (Sr.) administration but President Clinton lifted it in 1994. Later that same year, Republicans won the majority of seats in both houses of Congress and in 1996 passed the Dickey Amendment, legislation that, in essence, banned stem cell research by ending federal funding for “the creation of embryos for research purposes as well as research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero.” (Torrisi, 2007)
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