Stem cell bill passes! YES!!

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Stem cell bill passes! YES!!

Senate Approves Stem Cell Bill

By David Espo
Associated Press
posted: 12 April 2007
09:30 am ET


WASHINGTON (AP) — A stubborn Senate voted Wednesday to ease restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, ignoring President Bush's threat of a second veto on legislation designed to lead to new medical treatments.

The 63-34 vote was shy of the margin that would be needed to enact the measure over presidential opposition, despite gains made by supporters in last fall's elections.

“Not every day do we have the opportunity to vote to heal the sick,'' said Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., a senator less than 100 days following a tough 2006 campaign in which the stem cell controversy played a particularly prominent role. “It is a noble cause,'' she added.

“We're going to use federal money, indirectly or directly, to destroy embryos,'' countered Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., echoing Bush's argument against the measure. Coburn said claims of imminent scientific breakthroughs from embryonic stem cell research are unsubstantiated and that adult stem cells have been shown to be useful in a variety of cases.

The House, which passed similar legislation earlier in the year, is expected to adopt the Senate's version in the next several weeks for Bush's veto.

The Senate bill, Bush said, “is very similar to legislation I vetoed last year. This bill crosses a moral line that I and many others find troubling. If it advances all the way through Congress to my desk, I will veto it,'' the president said in a statement after the vote.

Despite the criticism, the bill's chief sponsor urged the president to give the bill another look. “I urge him to reconsider this bill and sign it. Unleash America's scientists,'' said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

Capping two days of debate, the Senate also voted 70-28 to pass a separate measure backed by Republicans. It supported research in adult stem cells.

Bush said this legislation builds on “ethically appropriate research'' and he urged Congress to pass the measure “so stem cell science can progress, without ethical and cultural conflict.''

The Senate's action was the latest act in a drama that blends science and politics on an issue that affects millions of disease sufferers and their families.

“It's extremely frustrating to go through this Kabuki dance a second time with the president,'' said Peter Kiernan, head of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which funds research.

“The one thing we know is we will outlast him.''

Stem cells are created in the first days after conception. They are typically culled from frozen embryos, which are destroyed in the process. According to the National Institutes of Health Web site, scientists have been able to conduct experiments with embryonic stem cells only since 1998.

The embryonic stem cells have the ability to transform into a “dazzling array of specialized cells,'' the Web site says — the property that scientists and others say offers the potential for the development of treatment for diseases as varied as juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

There was no federal money for the work until Bush announced on Aug. 9, 2001, that his administration would make it available for lines of stem cells that were in existence. Elected with the strong support of abortion foes and other conservatives, he said at the time his decision was designed to balance concerns about “protecting life and improving life.''

He also limited the funds to cell lines derived from embryos that were surplus at fertility clinics, and that had been donated from adults who had given informed consent.

Advocates of the veto-threatened legislation argue that the number of stem cell lines available for research is smaller than needed, and that some of the material has become contaminated over time by mouse embryonic skin cells that typically are placed at the bottom of culture dishes used in the research.

The bill would permit funding for research on embryonic stem cells regardless of the date of their creation, so long as they were donated from in-vitro fertilization clinics, they would “otherwise be discarded'' and donors gave their approval.

Bush cast the only veto of his presidency on a stem cell bill last year, but public support for the research is strong, and Democrats sought to use that to their advantage in the 2006 election campaigns.

Missouri became a testing ground, McCaskill challenging GOP Sen. Jim Talent, who opposed expanded federally funded research. Michael J. Fox appeared in a television ad advocating greater research, and the visual image was arresting — the 45-year-old actor swaying from his Parkinson's disease.

With federal funding limited, several states and private institutions have moved into the void.

California, New York and New Jersey have programs. Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts recently announced he hoped to overturn restrictions left in place by his Republican predecessor.

“We in Massachusetts increasingly see this as a competitive issue,'' said Dr. George Daley of Children's Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. He said private institutions compete to hire promising scientists drawn to the field.

“I would say it's revolutionized biomedical research,'' he said. Rebutting claims by critics, he said, “You can't expect a cell which burst on the scene only as recently as 1998 to have found its way into patients yet. I don't know of any biological technology that translates into patients that soon.''

But Carrie Gordon Earll, bioethics analyst at Focus on the Family, said that apart from the issue of embryo destruction, the inevitable result of the contested legislation would be to reduce funding available for adult stem cell work, which she said is more advanced.

“To our knowledge there are no clinical trials with human embryonic stem cells under way and there are 1,300 adult stem cell trials,'' she said, adding, “The destruction of embryos is not necessary for the advancement of regenerative research,'' she added.


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Too bad pretzeldent Dubya

Too bad pretzeldent Dubya will veto it, asshole!


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It is ironic that during

It is ironic that during the 1950s up to the 1980s, (a time when, started by McCarthy, America was deeply religious, wallowing in conservative Christianity and seeing themselves as Christian crusaders against the Red Menace) there was no talk of creationism, and it was banned in schools completely by congress. No controversy. The reason? The united states was falling behind the USSR in producing the very best young scientific minds, and any measure they could take to reverse that trend was taken.

I see that the same predicament is occuring with Stem cells. The world's best molecular biologists and embryologists will not want to be in the United states if they cannot have access to the cutting edge of biology. If the US falls behind thanks to Prezedint Dubya, then they will have to reverse the trend and allow the continuation of stem cell research. The US is supposed to have the world's best science/tech R&D and if they want to keep it that way, they'll have to stop this nonsense.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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BGH wrote:

BGH wrote:
Too bad pretzeldent Dubya will veto it, asshole!

Meanwhile in Indiana...a budget measure just passed with this slyly inserted into the language: Public funds may not be used to conduct embryonic stem cell research.

And even more disconcerting...Destroying or abandoning embryos is a Class A misdemeanor.

These people will just not let go. While the rest of the world is moving forward, we're content with spending taxpayer dollars to introduce bills like this. Hell, last year they tried to create a law that would take your child and put you and the doctor in prison if you received in-vitro fertilization without a license from the state authorizing you as a "fit" parent.

Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”


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Lynette1977 wrote: These

Lynette1977 wrote:
These people will just not let go. While the rest of the world is moving forward, we're content with spending taxpayer dollars to introduce bills like this.

Sadly, I am from Missouri and we are not much better off than you. We passed a stem cell ballot issue last November and now certain state senators have seen fit to issue legislation to overturn it. 


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deludedgod wrote: It is

deludedgod wrote:

It is ironic that during the 1950s up to the 1980s, (a time when, started by McCarthy, America was deeply religious, wallowing in conservative Christianity and seeing themselves as Christian crusaders against the Red Menace) there was no talk of creationism, and it was banned in schools completely by congress. No controversy. The reason? The united states was falling behind the USSR in producing the very best young scientific minds, and any measure they could take to reverse that trend was taken.

I see that the same predicament is occuring with Stem cells. The world's best molecular biologists and embryologists will not want to be in the United states if they cannot have access to the cutting edge of biology. If the US falls behind thanks to Prezedint Dubya, then they will have to reverse the trend and allow the continuation of stem cell research. The US is supposed to have the world's best science/tech R&D and if they want to keep it that way, they'll have to stop this nonsense.

 

This is exactly what will happen and the US will end up looking like idiots on the world stage (more than we do now).  The attitude is "We are the best!" until some other wiseacre country proves otherwise.  The sad part is that it does not take much these days for other countries to show us our ass.  


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jce wrote: deludedgod

jce wrote:
deludedgod wrote:

It is ironic that during the 1950s up to the 1980s, (a time when, started by McCarthy, America was deeply religious, wallowing in conservative Christianity and seeing themselves as Christian crusaders against the Red Menace) there was no talk of creationism, and it was banned in schools completely by congress. No controversy. The reason? The united states was falling behind the USSR in producing the very best young scientific minds, and any measure they could take to reverse that trend was taken.

I see that the same predicament is occuring with Stem cells. The world's best molecular biologists and embryologists will not want to be in the United states if they cannot have access to the cutting edge of biology. If the US falls behind thanks to Prezedint Dubya, then they will have to reverse the trend and allow the continuation of stem cell research. The US is supposed to have the world's best science/tech R&D and if they want to keep it that way, they'll have to stop this nonsense.

 

This is exactly what will happen and the US will end up looking like idiots on the world stage (more than we do now). The attitude is "We are the best!" until some other wiseacre country proves otherwise. The sad part is that it does not take much these days for other countries to show us our ass.

This country needs a scientific renaissance. 


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This is one of the things

This is one of the things that happens when you mix religion with politics. The stagnation of medical research.

Now we have that asshat republican Mitt Romney, who is in the lead in donations for the republican nomination, saying that "American wants a leader of faith" in the White House. What happened to the good old days when John F. Kennedy stated in his election day speech that he would uphold and honor the seperation of church and state!?

We've seen the results of the crumbling wall---lack of scientific research, erosion of civil liberties, the dumbing down of the next generation with creationism, war profiteering ("God told me to strike Saddam...&quotEye-wink....You get the idea!

When are the sheeple going to wake up?! 

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rab wrote: ("God told me

rab wrote:

("God told me to strike Saddam...&quotEye-wink....You get the idea!

When are the sheeple going to wake up?!

I wish god would tell him to choke on a pretzel again, maybe the vice dick too. 


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Lynette1977 wrote: And

Lynette1977 wrote:

And even more disconcerting...Destroying or abandoning embryos is a Class A misdemeanor.

Looking at the linked article, I got pretty confused.

The first part seemed clear.  If a fertilized egg is "abandoned" (that term being defined in the article), it can be adopted and implanted into someone else.

But the second part really confused me because it sounds like using the zygote can be used for stem cell research if the "parent" gives written permission.

Quote:

SOURCE: IC 35-46-5-3; (07)IN0203.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. IC 35-46-5-3, AS ADDED BY P.L.126-2005, SECTION 10, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 3. (a) Except as provided in IC 31-20-2, a person who knowingly or intentionally purchases or sells a human ovum, zygote, embryo, or fetus commits unlawful transfer of a human organism, a Class C felony.
    (b) This section does not apply to the following:
        (1) The transfer to or receipt by a woman donor of an ovum of an amount for:
            (A) earnings lost due to absence from employment;
            (B) travel expenses;
            (C) hospital expenses;
            (D) medical expenses; and
            (E) recovery time in an amount not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000);
        concerning a treatment or procedure to enhance human reproductive capability through in vitro fertilization, gamete intrafallopian transfer, or zygote intrafallopian transfer.
        (2) The following types of stem cell research:
            (A) Adult stem cell.
            (B) Fetal stem cell, as long as the biological parent has given written consent for the use of the fetal stem cells.

What I don't understand is this:  If the fertilzed egg is not abandoned, but the biological parent does not give written permission for it to be used for stem cell research, what the heck is supposed to happen to it if the biological parent does not wish to have it implanted?

Anyone out there that can translate legal-ese? 

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rab wrote: This is one of

rab wrote:

This is one of the things that happens when you mix religion with politics. The stagnation of medical research.

Now we have that asshat republican Mitt Romney, who is in the lead in donations for the republican nomination, saying that "American wants a leader of faith" in the White House. What happened to the good old days when John F. Kennedy stated in his election day speech that he would uphold and honor the seperation of church and state!?

We've seen the results of the crumbling wall---lack of scientific research, erosion of civil liberties, the dumbing down of the next generation with creationism, war profiteering ("God told me to strike Saddam...&quotEye-wink....You get the idea!

When are the sheeple going to wake up?!

I'm waiting for someone of the Christian faith to point out that Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers and they believe that people lived on the moon for 1,000 years before coming to earth. Funny stuff, no less, but Romney is a fake and everyone knows it. How someone could trust a man who could go from being an ardent supporter of GLBT rights to then flip flop and turn into a gay bashing homophobe should never be trusted. Period. Oh wait, as long as the hate is dubbed "religion" it's okay. Idiots. 

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Romney would be the worst, a

Romney would be the worst, a huge step back for the US... I still think there's one letter too much in the word "mormon"...

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant


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Mattness wrote: I still

Mattness wrote:
I still think there's one letter too much in the word "mormon"...

HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!! 

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    ....And as we knew

    ....And as we knew all along, George W. Bush vetoed this bill yesterday 06/20/07.


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While I rarely wish

While I rarely wish unfortunate circumstances on anyone (and it's just not a nice thing to do), I can only hope that GWB has something in his future that will make him desperate for the advances that stem cell research can provide.

I've heard rumblings of attempts for an override of the veto.  While it probably won't happen, we can still hope.

 

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Susan wrote: While I

Susan wrote:

While I rarely wish unfortunate circumstances on anyone (and it's just not a nice thing to do), I can only hope that GWB has something in his future that will make him desperate for the advances that stem cell research can provide.

I've heard rumblings of attempts for an override of the veto. While it probably won't happen, we can still hope.

Also congress has begun working on a 'new' stem cell bill.

Here is the info from Scientific Amercan.


http://www.omniture.com -->
ScientificAmerican.com

June 22, 2007  
Bush Vetoes Stem Cell Bill; Lawmakers Offer New One  
Congressional advocates move to expand federal embryonic research in face of presidential veto; survey shows most fertility patients would likely donate unused embryos to cause  
WASHINGTON—President Bush this week vetoed legislation that would have lifted limits on federally funded research on embryonic stem cells. Angry congressional advocates immediately pledged to override the veto (although they acknowledge they are still shy of the two thirds majority needed) and took new steps to free up federal monies for such research, which holds the promise of new treatments for debilitating diseases from Parkinson's to diabetes.

Just a day after the president nixed the measure, the Democratic-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee added a provision to a money bill that would allow taxpayer dollars to be spent on stem cells extracted from embryos before June 15. That expands a ban Bush imposed six years ago, limiting federal research to about 20 cell lines derived from embryos before August 2001, many of which scientists say have been compromised or corrupted.

"Once again, the president has ignored the will of the American people, of leading medical researchers and of a bipartisan majority of the Congress," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) said in a statement released after the veto. "His cruel veto says 'no' to the hopes of millions of families across America."

The move marked the second time in two years that Bush, bowing to his conservative base, vetoed such a package, despite growing public support and a new study showing that most patients at U.S. fertility clinics would likely donate surplus stored embryos for stem cell research if given the option.

"If this legislation became law, it would compel American taxpayers for the first time in our history to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos," Bush said. "I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line."

He also signed an executive order urging scientists to work with the federal government to come up with ways to derive cells without destroying embryos.

But backers point out that the bill would only permit federally funded scientists to use embryos left over from fertility clinics that patients choose to donate and that otherwise would be discarded. The legislation would also set up strict ethical guidelines to govern research.

The veto came the same day that Duke University in Durham, N.C., and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore released a report showing that the majority of people with frozen embryos stored at U.S. fertility clinics would likely donate them to create stem cell batches or lines for research.

Researchers sent surveys to more than 2,200 patients at fertility centers in California, Colorado, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

They report in today's issue of Science that 60 percent of the 1,200 patients who responded said they would donate surplus embryos for use in stem cell research; only 22 percent said they would hand over unused embryos to other infertile couples—the option favored by Bush and other embryonic stem cell research detractors.

"Until now, the debate about federal funding for embryonic stem cell research has been dominated by lawmakers and advocates. But what about the preferences of infertility patients, who are ethically responsible for, and have legal authority over, these embryos," said study co-author Ruth Faden, director of Johns Hopkins's Berman Institute of Bioethics. "These patients face the often morally difficult task of deciding what to do with their remaining cryopreserved embryos. In the end, it is these people who determine whether embryos are available for adoption or for medical research.''

Co-author Anne Drapkin Lyerly, a Duke bioethicist and professor of obstetrics and gynecology, said the findings could have "significant implications" on policy and research efforts.

"Previous research indicates that there are approximately 400,000 frozen embryos stored in the United States; if half of those belong to people who are willing to donate embryos for research," she said, "and only half that number were in fact donated, there could still be 100,000 embryos available for research." 

An earlier study of fertility clinic patients in Spain, a predominantly Catholic country, reached similar conclusions. In that case, some 50 percent of couples interviewed at least three years after undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) said they would donate their unused embryos for stem cell research, according to a report by the Spanish Stem Cell Bank published in April in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Critics say that researchers should stick to studying stem cells from adults or umbilical cord blood. But scientists note that embryonic stem cells are the only ones with the ability to become any type of tissue in the body, offering the hope of new therapies for currently incurable diseases—from cancer to autoimmune conditions like lupus to Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other degenerative disorders—by generating healthy cells to replace damaged ones.

"There is no substitute for this type of research, which is endorsed by major medical and scientific associations, research universities and institutions, and dozens of patient advocacy organizations representing millions of Americans," Sen. Tom Harkin (D–Iowa), a bill co-sponsor, said in a statement released after the veto. "Our legislation takes the shackles off of researchers and allows the most promising field of biomedical research of our day to move forward."

"Science is on our side, hope is on our side and the American people are on our side," added Harkin, who also authored the post-veto funding provision. "We will continue to fight for this legislation and do whatever it takes to ensure it becomes law."

The hot-button issue—which has attracted wide support from high-profile personalities and celebs including actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's, and former first lady Nancy Reagan—is expected to be front and center during the 2008 presidential elections. The Democratic front-runners all support expanding federal embryonic stem cell research and Republican presidential wannabes are split: Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani favor lifting limits, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Sen. Sam Brownback (Kans.)—one of three senators who voted against the appropriations provision—do not.


© 1996-2007 Scientific American, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
 

 

 


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Susan wrote: Lynette1977

Susan wrote:
Lynette1977 wrote:

And even more disconcerting...Destroying or abandoning embryos is a Class A misdemeanor.

Looking at the linked article, I got pretty confused.

The first part seemed clear. If a fertilized egg is "abandoned" (that term being defined in the article), it can be adopted and implanted into someone else.

But the second part really confused me because it sounds like using the zygote can be used for stem cell research if the "parent" gives written permission.

Quote:

SOURCE: IC 35-46-5-3; (07)IN0203.1.2. --> SECTION 2. IC 35-46-5-3, AS ADDED BY P.L.126-2005, SECTION 10, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 3. (a) Except as provided in IC 31-20-2, a person who knowingly or intentionally purchases or sells a human ovum, zygote, embryo, or fetus commits unlawful transfer of a human organism, a Class C felony.
(b) This section does not apply to the following:
(1) The transfer to or receipt by a woman donor of an ovum of an amount for:
(A) earnings lost due to absence from employment;
(B) travel expenses;
(C) hospital expenses;
(D) medical expenses; and
(E) recovery time in an amount not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000);
concerning a treatment or procedure to enhance human reproductive capability through in vitro fertilization, gamete intrafallopian transfer, or zygote intrafallopian transfer.
(2) The following types of stem cell research:
(A) Adult stem cell.
(B) Fetal stem cell, as long as the biological parent has given written consent for the use of the fetal stem cells.

What I don't understand is this: If the fertilzed egg is not abandoned, but the biological parent does not give written permission for it to be used for stem cell research, what the heck is supposed to happen to it if the biological parent does not wish to have it implanted?

Anyone out there that can translate legal-ese?

This doesn't even begin to make sense, since when did ova belong to the state?  I don't get the laws people are writing these days, they're just contrived nonsense to me a lot of the time.. but anyway, I suspect Susan that the legalese here doesn't recognise embryonic matter outside of it's construance. The embryo you're talking about doesn't exist under law, apparently so the parent would be required to confirm it's existence under law.  I've seen that exemplified in US laws before, the result will probably be that the parent must decide between the two options before leaving the room and they commit a felony by skipping out without signing the paperwork. 

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Eloise wrote: This doesn't

Eloise wrote:

This doesn't even begin to make sense, since when did ova belong to the state? .. but anyway, I suspect Susan that the legalese here doesn't recognise embryonic matter outside of it's construance.

The embryo you're talking about doesn't exist under law, apparently so the parent would be required to confirm it's existence under law.

If that's the case, why are all the anti-stem-cell folks so upset about it and insisting that it's a human being? 

 

Eloise wrote:
I've seen that exemplified in US laws before, the result will probably be that the parent must decide between the two options before leaving the room and they commit a felony by skipping out without signing the paperwork.

Somehow I doubt it would be just two options considering the way legal-ese gets written these days.  I can think of three off the top of my head.

1)  Let someone else implant it

2)  Let it be used for stem-cell research

3)  Destroy it

There would probably have to be all sorts of options for #1 such as who would be allowed to implant it.  (e.g. Would people of a particular race or faith insist on only allowing people of the same race or faith implanting it?)

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