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Stem Cell Legislation - Research Paper Example

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Legislation on Human Stem Cell Research Author’s Name Institution Introduction There is a continued debate on the use of stem cells for the treatment of terminal illness. This has been a controversial subject due to the ethical, political and religious issues surrounding this subject…
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Stem Cell Research Legislation
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Download file to see previous pages Humans have two types of stem cells, which include adult and embryonic stem cells. Embryonic cells come blastocyst’s inner layer. The adult stem cells are located in various tissues with varying potency. Potency of the stem cells indicates the number of cell types that can differentiate from the stem cells (Solo & Gasil, 2007). Embryonic cells are said to be pluripotent meaning they differentiate to form an array of tissues. This has attracted a controversial debate on the use of embryonic stem cells for treatment as well as research. This paper will explore the history of stem cell legislation in the US as well as compare this legislation to other statutes in the world. It will also elaborate on the current statutes concerning stem cell as well as the future of these statutes. The policies and laws on stem cell in the USA have undergone various, complicated changes over the years. Adult stem cells were first used for the treatment of leukemia in 1970. However, because of their limited potency, their use in research and treatment is limited. The debate on the use of embryonic stem cells is attributed to the fact that these cells are obtained from live embryos produced in the lab (Bellomo, 2006). The controversial issue surrounding this debate is the question on when life begins in humans. This is because some argue that the embryos created in the lab are humans and with rights to live. History on Legislation Roe Wade legalized abortion in the US in 1973. Five years after this, scientists and physicians delivered the first human following in vitro fertilization. These created the need for the federal government to enact policies and laws that restricted the use of public funds in the research of embryonic stem cells. All through history, there were no laws barring stem cell research in the USA (DeGette, 2008). However, the government put a restriction on the funding of the research based on stem cells. During President’s Clinton administration, the National Health Institute advised the government to permit the use of public funds for research on embryos. However, Clinton citing various moral and ethical issues declined to issue funds for this research. Furthermore, Clinton signed the Dickey Amendment in 1995 which forbade the use of federal money in funding the research on human embryos. The use of human embryonic stem cells for research featured significantly during Bush’s first term in office. In February 2001, he requested for the review of the NIH request concerning federal funding for research on the stem cells. Later on in August 2001, Bush issued a ban on the use of public funding in the research of human stem cells (DeGette, 2008). He argued that the creation and abortion of fetuses for the purpose of research was destroying human life and thus, should be avoided. In an effort to lift this ban, both 109th and 110th Congresses passed Bills to life the ban. However, both bills were vetoed by Bush using his Presidential powers. The 109th Congress also passed a Bill that banned the creation and destruction of human embryos for research purpose (DeGette, 2008). In 2005, the House passed the Stem Cell Enhancement Act which sought to allow the allocation of federal funds to research on human embryonic stem cells. The Presidential vetoed the Bill; therefore, it was never enacted into law. Later on, in 2006, Senate passed the Bill but the President did not approve it. In 2007, the legislation on stem cell research ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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