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  1. #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by windzilla View Post
    that is wrong, Clinton waited for his ethics panel to recommend how to proceed and even when the ethics panel came back to and recommend that federal funds be used to create stem cells based on IVF left overs, He rejected that advice and did not allow new embryos to be created, then as you point out, he signed off on an amendment passed under a conservative congress which had the Dicky wicker attached. funding did not go forward for several years.

    in 2000 he DID opened grant submissions, but left office before funding ever went out for embryonic stem cells.

    bush put restrictions on what clinton would of have funded by restricting federal funding to those that were already created, under clinton his plan was to have NIH funding of any Privately created cell lines, but not the creation of them. Such is what obama is done

    to say that during the clinton years research continued apace is not correct.

    I never said that clinton was "endorsing" dicky-wicker, he just signed it.

    the complexity of embryonic stem cells, the differences between them and adult stem cells, their potential, and the need to create embryos has been confused, obfuscated, and ultimately turned into a political tool.

    clinton, bush, and most politicians have generally been more interested in its use for politics, then science, the media hasn't been quick to change that either.
    I'm not trying to give Clinton any more credit than he deserves, or to deny Bush any, either. But as you say, stem cells are immensely complicated, and so are the politics surrounding them. Here's something written about the Bush decision that is a pretty balanced overview, in my estimation.

    In one sense, Bush's administration is a turning point. He has presided over the first flow of federal funds to a promising area of research that relies on destroying human embryos. And yet Bush's repeated claims to be "the first president ever to allow funding" for human embryonic stem cell research (made, for instance, during the second nationally televised presidential debate in fall 2004) are not accurate. Here, he lays claim to a stem cell legacy that isn't his. Truth is, Bush's immediate predecessor, Bill Clinton, was a far greater supporter of human embryonic stem cell research.

    Recall the political context. In 1993, with something called the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, Congress and President Clinton gave the NIH direct authority to fund human embryo research for the first time—ushering in what seemed like a new era. In response, the NIH established a panel of scientists, ethicists, public policy experts, and patients' advocates to consider the moral and ethical issues involved and to determine which types of experiments should be eligible for federal funding. In 1994, this NIH Human Embryo Research Panel made its recommendations—among them, that the destruction of spare embryos from fertility clinics, with the goal of obtaining stem cells, should receive federal funding. Embryos at the required stage are round balls no bigger than a grain of sand.

    The Dickey-Wicker Amendment

    President Clinton rejected part of these recommendations and directed the NIH not to allocate funds to experiments that would create new embryos specifically for research. But for the Gingrich-era Congress that took up the matter in 1995, funding any work with human embryos was going too far, and the recommendations created an uproar. Within a year, Congress had banned the use of federal funds for any experiment in which a human embryo is either created or destroyed. Known as the Dickey-Wicker Amendment for its authors, Representative Jay Dickey, Republican of Arkansas, and Representative Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, the ban passed as a rider attached to the appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. Congress has actively renewed that ban each year since, thus relegating all human embryo research to the private sector.

    Such was the state of affairs when, in 1998, using—by necessity—private funds, James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin successfully created the first human embryonic stem cell lines. Clinton's NIH knew the historic nature of that achievement. "This research has the potential to revolutionize the practice of medicine," Harold Varmus, director of the NIH, testified at a Senate hearing that year. New treatments for conditions like Parkinson's, heart disease, diabetes, and spinal cord injury now appeared possible. But the research needed years of federal support in order to flourish—and the Dickey-Wicker Amendment stood squarely in the way.

    Or did it? In January of 1999, Harriet Rabb, the top lawyer at the Department of Health and Human Services, released a legal opinion that would set the course for Clinton Administration policy. Federal funds, obviously, could not be used to derive stem cell lines (because derivation involves embryo destruction). However, she concluded that because human embryonic stem cells "are not a human embryo within the statutory definition," the Dickey-Wicker Amendment does not apply to them. The NIH was therefore free to give federal funding to experiments involving the cells themselves (what Republican Senator Sam Brownback, of Kansas, called a bit of "legal sophistry.")

    The NIH, with input from the National Bioethics Advisory Commission and others, went on to develop guidelines outlining the types of human embryonic stem cell research that would be eligible for federal funding. These Clinton Administration guidelines, published in August of 2000, forbid the use of federal funds to destroy human embryos to derive stem cells (because of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment), but permitted research with stem cells that other, privately funded scientists had already derived from spare embryos slated for destruction at fertility clinics.

    President Clinton strongly endorsed the new guidelines, noting that human embryonic stem cell research promised "potentially staggering benefits." And with the guidelines in place, the NIH began accepting grant proposals from scientists. Thus, it was the Clinton Administration that first opened the door to federal funding.
    NOVA | The Politics of Stem Cells
  2. groovy's Avatar
    941 Posts
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    Statutory humans... pretty scary.
  3. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    Statutory humans... pretty scary.
    No kidding. Look at these guys.

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