Since President Bush vetoed legislation aimed at expanding funding for embryonic stem cell research an Illinois Democrat and a Virginia Republican have introduced HR 2807, also known as the Patients First Act. The purpose of the bill is to:
(1) intensify research that may result in improved understanding of or treatments for diseases and other adverse health conditions;
(2) promote research and human clinical trials using stem cells that are ethically obtained and show evidence of providing clinical benefit for human patients; and
(3) promote the derivation of pluripotent stem cell lines without the creation of human embryos for research purposes and without the destruction or discarding of, or risk of injury to, a human embryo.
Full text of the bill can be found here.
Patients First is a fitting name for a bill of this nature since the stem cells that have been effective in treating patients so far have not come from human embryos. Most of them come right from the patients’ own bodies. They’re in blood, the heart, muscles, even in the nose! They come from bone marrow transplants and have even been taken from umbilical cord blood. They’ve been used to treat Spinal Cord Injury, Heart Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Diabetes among others.
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