Issue Position: Stem Cell Research
The issue of Stem Cell Researchis of vital importance for every American affected by diabetes, cancer, Parkinson's Disease or other serious disorders. The question is whether we will permit a type of life-saving medical research to achieve its full potential to heal illnesses and cure disease - or whether we will stop this promising research dead in its tracks and deny its benefits to millions of Americans.
A majority of the Senate opposes any legislation to ban - even temporarily - the lifesaving research on nuclear transplantation that brings such hope to so many of our constituents. The extraordinary progress in medical research that we've seen in recent years relies on two great motors of innovation - NIH funding and a dynamic private biotechnology sector. But when it comes to vital research using nuclear transplantation techniques, one of those motors has already been broken. There are no research grants being given by NIH or any other Federal agency for this research. There never have been - and under this Administration, there never will be.
If we had allowed our nation's great research universities to conduct extensive nuclear transplantation research, there's no telling what medical miracles we might have seen by now. Perhaps scientists using NIH funds could have already developed replacement cells for little children with diabetes that would never run the risk of tissue rejection. Perhaps those same NIH-funded scientists could have developed new cures for those whose minds and memories slowly ebb away on the tide of Alzheimer's Disease.
We should be debating the question that's at the core of this debate - whether we should allow or prohibit a type of medical research that brings hope to millions of Americans simply because it seems new or strange to some people.