Posted by: Thixia | March 31, 2008

Embryonic Stem Cell Resaearch – AAN support



  • The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is one of many medical groups that believe the use of human embryonic stem cells in biomedical research may have enormous potential to benefit people affected by neurological diseases.
  • The AAN supports stem cell research that follows the standards of scientific and ethical oversight set by the National Institutes of Health.
  • The embryos used to develop embryonic stem cell lines come from fertility clinics, and are donated once families have decided to end their fertility treatments. If these embryos were not used to contribute to the promise of stem cell research, they would be discarded.
  • Although adult stem cells are being explored as a treatment source, they have yet to demonstrate the same full potential as embryonic stem cells.
  • Research on both types of stem cells remains essential to ensure that therapies are discovered as soon as possible.
  • Government funding has always played a pivotal role in advancing the cause of medicine. Such funding for human embryonic stem cell research is necessary if America is going to continue to lead the way in the treatment of disease.
  • Government funding can reinforce ethically sound research practices. For example, although privately funded stem cell researchers in the United States are free to study all embryonic stem cell lines, they are not formally subjected to NIH scrutiny. While other laws set some basic guidelines for private research, the level of scrutiny is simply not as involved. Government funding programs can re-establish thorough ethical guidelines as part of the grant process.
  • Therapeutic cloning (somatic cell nuclear transfer for purposes of producing stem cells) should be allowed under proper ethical oversight.
  • Reproductive cloning (the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce a human child) should clearly be banned.


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