Pushing back against the Democratic-led Congress, President Bush vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have eased restraints on federally funded embryonic stem cell research.
“Our innovative spirit is making possible incredible advances in medicine that can save lives and cure diseases,” the president told an invited audience in the East Room.
“America is also a nation founded on the principle that all human life is sacred. And our conscience calls us to pursue the possibilities of science in a manner that respects human dignity and upholds our moral values,” he said.
One of the concepts agreed upon after the end of World War II and the discoveries of the extent of Nazi cruelties to their prisoners was that human beings were not to be used for scientific experimentation. It is wrong to use human beings merely as a means to an end, no matter how noble that end might be.
It turns out to be especially unnecessary to engage in this research as science has discovered how to create pluripotent stem cells from adult stem cells, removing the need to destroy human life. This discovery was made prior to the Senate sending this bill to the president. In addition to vetoing this bill, President Bush issued an executive order directing the Department of Health and human Services to fund such research in the hopes of finding the promised cures without any ethical issues. (See the full text of the order.)
Given that we can now do the research without any ethical quandaries, why the rush to engage in unethical research? Unless there’s another motive, there’s no reason any longer to support embryo-destructive research, even for those who believe embryonic stem cell research will be more efficacious than adult stem cell research (which is doubtful, given the higher potential for rejection by the body and the increased risk of tumors).