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    Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

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    1. What are the main arguments for and against embryonic stem cell research?
    2. What are President Bush's views?
    3. Does the U.S. public support embryonic stem cell research or not? Include recent statistics and poll findings.

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    Solution Preview

    Please see response attached.

    Also see http://www.uq.edu.au/oppe/PDFS/ES_cells.pdf.

    Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

    In 2005, H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, was passed by the Republican-led House in May 2005 by a vote of 238 to 194. In May 2006, 40 Democratic senators sent a letter to Senator Frist calling on him to bring stem cell legislation stalled in the Senate to vote. H.R. 810 was first introduced in the Senate in May 2005, and had been since languishing. Relenting to pressure, Frist allowed a Senate vote on H.R.810. On July 18, 2006, the Senate resoundingly passed the Stem Cell Enhancement Act of 2005 by a bipartisan vote of 63 to 37 President Bush vetoed the decision, who has long opposed embryonic stem cell research on ideological grounds. True to his word, George Bush exercised his first presidential veto on July 19, 2006 when he refused to allow H.R. 810 to become US law. Since the House of was unable to muster a 60% vote to override the presidential veto, H.R.810 died. For embryonic stem cell research to become federal law, new legislation will need to be introduced, passed by Congress. The earliest this could now occur would be by the next Congress in 2007-2008 (White, n.d.).
    DOES THE US PUBLIC SUPPORT EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH?
    In fact, all polls report that the American public overwhelmingly supports federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Despite public perceptions, embryonic stem cell research is legal in the US. In 2001, the President banned the use of federal funds for research. He did not ban private and state research funding. In fact, large US pharmaceutical corporations are now conducting such research. (These industries are heavy Republican Party donors.) In Fall 2004, California voters approved a $3 billion bond to fund embryonic stem cell research. New Jersey, Wisconsin and Massachusetts legislators are considering similar measures. In contrast, embryonic stem cell research is prohibited in Arkansas, Iowa, North and South Dakota and Michigan (White, n.d.).
    In August 2005, Harvard University scientists announced a break-through discovery that fuses "blank" embryonic stem cells with adult skin cells, rather than with fertilized embryos, to create all-purpose stem cells viable to treat diseases and disabilities. This discovery doesn't result in the death of fertilized human embryos, and thus would effectively respond to pro-life objections to embryonic stem cell research and therapy. Harvard researchers warned that it could take up to ten years to perfect this highly promising process. As South Korea, Great Britain, Japan, Germany, India and other countries rapidly pioneer this new technological frontier, the U.S. is being left farther and farther behind in medical technology. The US is also losing out on billions in new economic opportunities at a time when our country sorely needs new sources of revenues (White, n.d.).

    According to White (n.d.), therapeutic cloning is a method to produce stem cell lines that were genetic matches for adults and ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution discusses the main arguments for and against embryonic stem cell research. It also explores President Bush's views and if the U.S. public supports embryonic stem cell research or not. Statistics and poll findings are included.

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