On Monday, President Barack Obama announced he was lifting the Bush ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. While it is welcome news to many who were holding out hope for the promises offered by results of early research, the researchers are now eight years behind on developing cures and treatments using these stem cells.
Rep. Brad Miller, NC-13 and Senator Kay Hagan approved of the move.
President Obama's decision gives new hope to those suffering from debilitating or potentially debilitating disease. Embryonic stem cell research holds great medical promise, which we will now realize.
The National Institutes of Health now has 120 days to deliver ethical guidelines for using embryonic stem cells in research. One thing is certain in my mind - however these cells are used during research, it will be a heck of a lot more ethical than discarding them in an incinerator.
Rep. Miller has done a great job investigating the politicization of science by the Bush administration. He serves as chair of the House Science Committee Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee and has led several investigations into the negative impact that partisan science has on health, safety and research.
Senator Hagan has a personal reason for celebrating and supporting this move.
In her 50s, my mother had a massive stroke which ultimately lead to her death a few years later. While the stroke itself was traumatic enough for her, and my family, watching her struggle through the final years of her life is something that has stuck with me all these years later. With this ruling, I join the millions of Americans and their loved ones, who suffer with Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, strokes, Alzheimer’s and other diseases, in experiencing a renewed sense of hope that one day, a potentially life-saving cure and life-altering treatments will be found to help those who are suffering. While scientists have been working in earnest under the prior restrictions, this new order will open up many new doors and help scientists pursue every available avenue. The National Institutes of Health will ensure that this research is conducted ethically and within the boundaries of the law. I applaud this decision and look forward to seeing what kind of treatments North Carolina’s research and biotech industries will pursue in this area.
Eight years is a lot of time to lose. Its exciting to think that North Carolina has labs and teams that can take the lead in this research.