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McCain or Obama - who is good for science? Chapter 4: Stem cells - a divided soul versus an object soul

Both candidates will loosen the ban on embryonic stem cell research and loosen the federal funding for their implementation, but Obama will do it willingly compared to McCain, for whom this decision was excruciating.

Mouse stem cells
Mouse stem cells

Both candidates promise to lift the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. McCain supported the issue every time he came up for debate in the Senate, but now, under the pressure of the election campaign, he is afraid to guarantee that he will remove the restriction and is content with encouraging the alternatives to embryonic stem cells - especially adult stem cells. This is bad news for scientists working in the field, some of whom have left the US, others have moved to private institutions or state-funded institutions in the US that have decided to fund stem cell research from their own budgets.

The supporters and promoters of stem cell research say that it may successfully lead to treatments for chronic diseases and serious injuries, saving lives, but opponents claim that using embryos as a source of human stem cells harms human life. Therefore, both candidates were asked the question of what their position is regarding government supervision and funding for embryonic stem cell research in general.

As expected, both are in favor, except that one of them, McCain, does so half-heartedly, while Obama seeks to promote science in the field of stem cells with a willing heart.

During his tenure in the Senate, McCain opposed embryonic stem cell research that would use cloned human embryos. In 2006, he supported three laws designed to increase federal funding for adult stem cell research, ban the creation of embryos for research, and offer federal support for research using embryos intended for destruction in fertility clinics. In 2007, in what he described as a difficult and agonizing decision, he voted in favor of allowing research using unnecessary embryos in fertility clinics.

Obama more willingly supports easing federal restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. He voted in favor of a bill that allowed this in 2005, but the proposal, which passed Congress, fell due to a veto by President Bush. The law also allowed federal funding to be directed to research into embryonic stem cell lines from abandoned embryos in fertility clinics.

In interviews published in the American media, Obama said that: "Stem cell research holds the promise of improving our lives in at least three ways - by replacing normal cells instead of damaged cells to treat diabetes, Parkinson's disease, spinal injuries, heart problems and other disorders; through the provision of safe and convenient disease models for drug development; and by helping to understand the basic aspects of normal development and the disruption of the functioning of cells."

"For these reasons I strongly support the expansion of stem cell research. I believe that President Bush's restrictions on human stem cell research funding have tied the hands of our scientists and hindered our ability to compete with other nations. As president, I will lift the current administration's ban on federal funding for research into embryonic stem cell lines produced after August 9, 2001 by executive order, and ensure that all stem cell research is conducted ethically and under strict supervision."

"I recognize that there are people who oppose government support for research that requires the extraction of cells from human embryos. However, hundreds of thousands of embryos are stored in fertility clinics in the US and which are not intended to be used for reproductive purposes, and in the end they will be destroyed. I believe it is ethical to use these unnecessary embryos for research that can save lives when they are donated for this purpose."

"I am aware that there are suggestions that human cells of various types, derived from sources other than embryos, could make embryonic stem cells unnecessary. I don't agree with that. While mature stem cells, such as those extracted from the blood or bone marrow, are already used today in the treatment of several diseases, they do not have the diversity and ability to differentiate that the embryonic stem cells have and they cannot replace them. The latest studies indicate that skin cells can be reprogrammed like stem cells, these are exciting findings that may in the future lead to an alternative source of horstile stem cells. However, embryonic stem cells will continue to be the gold standard, and research on all types of stem cells will have to continue in parallel for the foreseeable future."

"Instead of limiting funding for these studies, I prefer responsible oversight of them, in accordance with the latest reports of the National Research Council. The council's recommendations are already being implemented by institutions that carry out stem cell research with funding from a variety of sources. Expanding federal support for the stem cell research program will encourage talented American scientists to enter this new and important field, expanding support will also expand effective oversight capacity, and signal to other countries that we are committed to competing in these exciting areas of medical research."

McCain is more cautious: "While I support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, I believe that clear lines should be drawn that reflect the refusal to sacrifice moral values ​​and ethical principles for the benefit of scientific progress. Moreover, I believe that the scientific breakthroughs increase the hope that one day the debate will become an academic debate. I also support funding for other research programs such as amniotic fluid and adult stem cells, which have great scientific promise and do not involve the use of embryos. I oppose the deliberate production of human embryos for research purposes and I will vote to ban embryo farms. I will make it a federal crime if researchers use cells or tissue from specially created embryos for research purposes."

3 תגובות

  1. The use of stem cells will not only save lives but also eliminate some of the black medicine, also science must be used in a moral way and at the same time expand the fields of research within the limits of what is possible in the human field.

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