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Dr. Coburn Introduces Pro-Science and Pro-Life Stem Cell Research Legislation

Location: Washington, DC

Dr. Coburn Introduces Pro-Science and Pro-Life Stem Cell Research Legislation

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), a practicing physician who has delivered nearly 4,000 babies and successfully treated his patients with ethical stem cell therapies, introduced legislation today to fund research for non-destructive embryonic and/or pluripotent stem cell research. Pluripotent stem cells are capable of developing into any tissue in the body.

"This bill promotes both the best science and highest ethical standards. Congress can and should encourage embryonic stem cell research but it is unethical and unnecessary to destroy human life in the process," said Dr. Coburn, who is also a two-time cancer survivor.

The "Respect for Life Pluripotent Stem Cell Act of 2005" includes the following key provisions:

* Authorizes $15 million for the National Institutes of Health to develop ethical techniques to create and study pluripotent stem cells.
* Prohibits any research that would harm or destroy a human embryo.
* Directs studies on animal models to develop and test techniques for producing human pluripotent stem cells.

"The Castle-DeGette bill that is being praised in the Senate is full of hype and false promises. Private research dollars are not following destructive embryonic research because that research, unlike adult stem cell research, has not produced any tangible results. Not since ‘cold fusion' has a scientific story received so much attention without the science to support the claims," Dr. Coburn said.

"Promoting destructive embryonic stem cell research will also cause Congress to cross an ethical threshold from which it will not be able to return. If Congress decides that is ethical to conduct destructive research on human beings because ‘they will be thrown away anyway' we will enter a brave new world in which all human life will be cheapened, and endangered," Dr. Coburn said.

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