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Saturday 26th May 2018

Veto for stem cell Bill

20th July 2006

20072006_stem_cell1.jpgPresident Bush’s veto yesterday of a Bill that would have allowed federal funding for embryonic stem cell research has been condemned by the international medical community who claim that millions of patients worldwide will suffer as a result.
Mr Bush chose the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which was passed by 63 votes to 37 in the US Senate, as the first Bill that he has vetoed since taking office.

Mr Bush has been determined to block the legislation on moral grounds, even though two thirds of Americans support government funding of embryonic stem cell research.  Doctors and scientists said such research could lead to cures for many life-threatening and disabling ailments, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, spinal cord injuries and juvenile diabetes.

Mr Bush banned federally funded research in August 2001, meaning that US scientists have had only about twenty embryonic stem cell lines, in existence when the ban was instituted, to use for research; most of those are now contaminated or unusable say scientists. The Bill would have enabled research using new stem cells from human embryos. Mr Bush said “This Bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others. It crosses a moral boundary that our society needs to respect, so I vetoed it.?

The president of the Royal Society, Lord Rees of Ludlow, said that Mr Bush’s veto was “slowing down the global effort to develop therapies for a range of diseases and illnesses ..". David Macauley, the chief executive of the UK Stem Cell Foundation, agreed that realising the potential of stem cell research "will only be achieved if we encourage and support research and collaboration worldwide.?

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