Section V G.W. Bush on Stem Cell Research, Research Paper Example
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2001 President G.W. Bush on Stem Cell Research
It was on June 20th 2007 that President George W Bush issued an Executive order expanding the approved amount of Federal funding for stem cell research; this being for sources other than human embryos or fetuses. He deemed this to be an ethically responsible position which would not violate the dignity of human life. Further he stated that the research would be prioritized in order to ensure the greatest benefit potential in clinical research. The President declared that it was essential to establish the ethical and moral boundaries in this area of research and as such maintain the highest moral standards of human dignity. (Longley)
The Federal Government would also maintain a policy of instructing the National Institute of Health to continue peer reviewed research that may result in an improved understanding from how the treatment and use of pluripotent stem cell research might be used and carried out in the future. The order further defined the concept of a human embryo and how it should be used and interpreted in the context of human embryo and stem cell research. The policy stated that any destruction of nascent life for research would be a violation of a principle whereby no life should be exploited for the benefit of another. (Longley)
The basic objections to this research were mainly focused upon opposers who objected to embryonic research on religious and conservative grounds. It was formulated on the belief that a human embryo has little distinction from that of a human life. It contained the building blocks of life in that of DNA and as the destruction of such an embryo was tantamount to murder. As such the embryos are worthy of the same protection as human beings.
The concept of genetic engineering in medical practice has been challenged on both ethical and moral grounds. Those dealing with genetic programming of both humans and animals are interfering with the process of nature. The moral issues are associated with the fact that we are now entering a world where we can change our human composition, our environment and determine what future generations will look like. The manipulation of human genomes poses serious ethical and moral challenges, which Willard Gaylin described as the ‘Frankenstein Factor’. Scientists/Researchers should not be given a blank canvas to play on without suitable legal controls and stipulated boundaries.
Quotations from President Bush on Stem Cell Research
“In recent weeks we learned that scientists have created human embryos in test tubes solely to experiment on them. This is deeply troubling, and a warning sign that should prompt all of us to think through these issues very carefully. We recoil at the idea of growing human beings for spare body parts or creating life for our convenience. I strongly oppose cloning. And while we must devote enormous energy to conquering disease, it is equally important that we pay attention to the moral concerns raised by the new frontier of human embryo stem cell research. Even the most noble ends do not justify any means” – President G.W. Bush August 11th 2001. (Notable quotes).
The President made a number of clear messages here. They do not support the policy of cloning, particularly relative to humans and the manufacture of spare body parts. He supports the need to address research in order to tackle life threating diseases but this must be balanced against the ethical and moral consequences of this undertaking.
“While we must devote enormous energy to conquering disease, it is equally important that we pay attention to the moral concerns raised by the new frontier of human embryo stem cell research. Even the most noble ends do not justify any means.” – President G.W. Bush August 9th, 2001 (Notable quotes).
“Embryonic stem-cell research is at the leading edge of a series of moral hazards. The initial stem cell researcher was at first reluctant to begin his research, fearing it might be used for human cloning. Scientists have already cloned a sheep. Researchers are telling us the next step could be to clone human beings to create individual designer stem cells, essentially to grow another you, to be available in case you need another heart or lung or liver” President G.W. Bush August 9th, 2001. (Pro Life).
President Bush very much approached this subject from more of a moral and religious perspective as to that of a scientific viewpoint. He went on to describe human life as a sacred gift from the creator and the fear of a society that devalues life. He stated his moral responsibility as a President to protect the lives of Americans and indeed others throughout the world. He equally stated that he could not be certain that science would deliver on the promise of this research.
President B. Obama on Stem Cell Research
President Obama did not agree with the verdict put forward by President G.W. Bush and took a more scientific standpoint. He went ahead and issued an Executive order that would reverse the policy of preventing Federal Research grants being awarded to Stem Cell and Embryonic research programmes. “Today, with the executive order I am about to sign, we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors, and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for, fought for these past eight years”. – President Obama (CBC News).
President Obama went on to affirm his belief in the science of stem cell research and the values that it represents for improving medicine and the lives of people. “In recent years when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values,” – President Obama (CBC News).
The President also made the point that he believed that the Bush Administration had hampered the scientists from completing valuable research and impacted their standing and ability in terms of competition from overseas. “I believe that the restrictions that President Bush has placed on funding of human embryonic stem-cell research have handcuffed our scientists and hindered our ability to compete with other nations,” – President Obama (Cosmos)
President Obama built upon a platform of what his administration viewed as a period of poor mis-managed government in the Bush Administration years. He felt that the scientific community had been held back on politically motivated views based upon religion that contained no substantive scientific evidence to support the halting of research in this area. Further this had prevented advancement in the treatment of important diseases like Cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and contributed towards human suffering in this area. “As president, I will lift the current administration’s ban on federal funding of research on embryonic stem cell lines created after Aug. 9, 2001 through executive order, and I will ensure that all research on stem cells is conducted ethically and with rigorous oversight” – Present Obama (Cosmos).
The President made a strong appeal that the Federal Government owed a debt to the people in ensuring that the best medical benefits would be made available to them for advanced technology treatments. This despite President G.W. Bush’s appeal to find another way that satisfied religious and moral virtues. The issues we are facing now and we should stimulate science to solve the problems as opposed to hampering them with little to no scientific evidence that blocks funding – “Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that we owe it to the American public to explore the potential of stem cells to treat the millions of people suffering from debilitating and life-threatening diseases” – President Obama (Cosmos).
This change of political understanding and funding by the Federal Government will promote increased research activities. These will be able to better treat such ailments as diabetes to paralysis. The area in embryonic cells had been seriously hampered for funding from the Bush Administration and it is now hoped that researchers can reinstate programs in order to produce insulin producing cells for treatment of diabetes and Parkinson disease. In addition to look at the possibility of replacing nerve ending connections in spinal injuries. “I feel vindicated after eight years of struggle, and I know it’s going to energize my research team,” (Associated Press), said Dr. George Daley of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Children’s Hospital of Boston, a leading stem cell researcher.
The final point substantiates that we are breaking new ground in scientific research in the study of genetics, microbiology and medicine. There is a need to consider the legal implications of this. Any new science requires ethical boundaries and standards of practice that need to be legally enforced to prevent malpractice or exploitation that may impact the lives of millions of people. This needs to be equally managed in a responsible way in order not to hamper or limit scientific progress but to ensure that it remains within some framework of ethically controlled and responsible boundaries.
Associated Press. Obama to reverse restrictions on stem cell work. 2009. 18 11 2011 <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29554619/ns/health-cloning_and_stem_cells/t/obama-reverse-restrictions-stem-cell-work/>.
CBC News. Obama reverses limits on stem cell research. 2009. 18 11 2011 <http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2009/03/09/obama-stem-cells.html>.
Cosmos. “Obama to reverse Bush limits on stem-cells.” Cosmos (2009).
Longley, Robert. Executive Order Expanding Approved Stem Cell Lines. 20 6 2007. 17 11 2011 <http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/healthcare/a/stemcelleo.htm>.
Notable quotes. GEORGE W. BUSH QUOTES. 2011. 18 11 2011 <http://www.notable-quotes.com/b/bush_george_w.html>.
Pro Life. ext of Bush Speech on Embryonic Stem Cell Research. 2001. 17 11 2011 <http://www.texlife.org/docs/bushspeech.shtml>.
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