Calls on Congress to Consider Bipartisan Patients First Act
Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) released the following statement criticizing the President's decision to lift restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research:
"The President's decision today not only promotes the destruction of human life for experimentation, but also promotes outdated science. The science in stem cell research has bypassed the embryonic stem cell debate - the President's action today ignores the incredible advances we have seen in adult stem cell treatments, including the multitude of studies documenting patients who have been treated for Parkinson's disease, Type 1 Diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, cancer and other diseases through adult stem cells. When human lives are at stake, we cannot afford to take steps backwards in scientific development for the sake of politics. It is time to put the divisive political debate aside, unlock the potential in adult stem cell research, and focus on the common goal on both sides of the stem cell debate - curing and treating patients."
Congressman Forbes, along with Congressman Daniel Lipinski (IL-03), has introduced the bipartisan Patients First Act, legislation that would intensify research and human clinical trials using stem cells that are ethically obtained and that show evidence of providing near-term clinical benefit for human patients. Additionally, the legislation would promote the creation of pluripotent stem cell lines without the creation, destruction, or discarding of human embryos.
Specifically, the Patients First Act would:
Promote the creation of pluripotent stem cell lines without the creation, destruction and discarding of, or risk of injury to human embryos;
Intensify stem cell research that may result in an improved understanding of, or treatment for, diseases and other adverse health conditions;
Promote research and human clinical trials using stem cells that are ethically obtained and show evidence of providing clinical benefit for human patients; and,
Direct the National Institutes of Health to prioritize stem cell research that has the greatest potential for near-term clinical benefits, by directing both basic and clinical research towards what is currently showing benefits in treating patients now.