The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

There’s HOPE for Ethical Research!

Posted by thelamp on April 18, 2007

There’s good and bad news this week from the U.S. Senate, where debate on federal funding for human embryonic stem-cell research ended with the approval of two diametrically opposed bills: The HOPE Act and the infamous Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. The latter, which would advance medical experimentation at the expense of human life, was vetoed by President Bush last year.

Given that the president has promised to veto it again, it’s disappointing that legislators passed it anyway on a 63-34 vote Wednesday. The good news is that the margin is too narrow to override President Bush, who has voiced support for the ethical alternative – which the Senate also passed 70-28.

Here are the 28 senators who voted against the HOPE Act:

Baucus, D-Mont.; Bayh, D-Ind.; Bingaman, D-N.M.; Boxer, D-Calif.; Cantwell, D-Wash.; Cardin, D-Md.; Clinton, D-N.Y.; Durbin, D-Ill.; Feingold, D-Wis.; Feinstein, D- Calif.; Inouye, D-Hawaii; Kohl ,D-Wis.; Lautenberg, D-N.J.; Levin, D-Mich.; Lieberman, I-Conn.; Lincoln, D-Ariz.; Menendez, D-N.J.; Mikulski, D-Md.; Murray, D-Wash.; Nelson, D-Fla.; Obama, D-Ill.; Reid, D-Nev.; Rockefeller, D-W.V.; Sanders, I-Vt.; Schumer, D-N.Y.; Stabenow, D-Mich.; Tester, D-Mont.; Wyden, D-Ore. 

Click here to thank your senator for voting for the HOPE Act and supporting ethical research.

Although both legislative proposals would remove restrictions on the use of federal funds in pursuit of ground-breaking research to cure diseases, the Hope Offered through Principled Ethical Stem Cell Research – or HOPE Act – would forbid the creation, cloning or destruction of embryos. However, this bill would authorize research on embryos with no chance of survival. The Senate missed an opportunity to make a clear statement about the value of life. Instead, lawmakers are sending America a mixed message.

Stem-cell research is a complicated undertaking. This much, though, is clear – ending life at any stage of development is morally indefensible. Christians know that Scripture plainly admonishes against killing, and invoking the merits of research doesn’t change anything.

Ethical research using stem cells from adults and umbilical cord blood is already contributing to improving health conditions associated with more than 70 diseases and injuries. These advances dispel the notion that cloning, destruction of human embryos or exploiting women by harvesting their eggs are the only avenues for discovering new medical treatments.

“The current adversarial climate has made many Christians think they must choose between science and faith,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “It has also convinced many decent men and women in the scientific community that they must reject all religious influence in order to be faithful to science.”

The fact that Bible believers condemn senseless destruction of life does not mean they want to stand in the way of all medical research. The HOPE Act would “promote the derivation of pluripotent stem-cell lines without the creation of human embryos” or destroying them. (Read and compare the bills for yourself: the HOPE Act vs. the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act.)

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act isn’t just immoral; it would also be a foolish use of taxpayers’ money. Prudent and fiscally responsible lawmakers shouldn’t divert public funds from promising and less controversial research options. Of course, to some folks death is palatable when it occurs in a petri dish. Not so for Christians. Those who want research to continue, but also respect human life, are backing the HOPE Act.

Click here to thank your senator for voting for the HOPE Act and supporting ethical research.

Source:  www.centerformoralclarity.net

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