Listing of Comments on Draft NIH Human Stem Cell Guidelines
Entire Comment Period: 04/23/2009-05/26/2009

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On April 23, 2009, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published draft stem cell guidelines for public comment in the Federal Register. The purpose of these guidelines are to implement President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13505 “Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells,” which was issued on March 9, 2009.

NIH received 49,015 comments by May 26, 2009, the closing date of the comment period, and have compiled these comments on this website. Any comments received via email or mail after the May 26 deadline are not included on this website. In reviewing the comments, NIH determined that 60 comments were inappropriate (i.e., contained SPAM responses or offensive language), and these comments have been excluded from this website. In addition, to protect the identities and personal information of individuals who submitted comments, NIH has removed personally identifiable information from the comments on this website even though individuals consented that the information provided could be made available for public review and posting.



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4697 05/01/2009 at 04:57:31 PM Self     I am one of the majority of Americans who do not condone Stem Cell Research. The unborn child - partially birthed when they are removed - is, in fact aborted/murdered. It is difficult to understand how my hard-earned tax dollars should be used to fund something like this, while our country's schools and aged need are suffering from lack of funds. Use of embryonic stem cells for reasearch involves the destruction of blastocysts formed from laboratory-fertilized human eggs. A human life is destroyed; therefore, the procedure is unacceptable and immoral.

 
4698 05/01/2009 at 04:57:33 PM Self     Alex Normandin, 26, of Montreal, Canada has been cured of his Multiple Sclerosis following the implantation of his own ADULT Stem Cells. The stem cell therapy was done in conjunction with a research program in Ottawa with Dr. Mark Freedman.

A medical student, Alex was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis more than 2 years ago and was distressed to learn that he had the aggressive form of MS and was on track to be in a wheelchair in a matter of months.

Luckily, he was accepted into Dr. Freedman’s stem cell research program at Ottawa General Hospital. In this stem cell program, the patient is first given chemotherapy to kill off the immune system. Then, the stem cell transplant takes place to "reboot" the immune system.

There is evidence that demonstrates that using ADULT Stem Cells is both more effective and less destructive than using EMBRYONIC Stem Cells -- clearly the best of both worlds.

Thus, we would encourage the NIH and other scientific groups to move in the direction of using ADULT Stem Cells exclusively, to take advantage of the abundance of available cells, to use the more effective method and to protect the lives of the unborn living human beings who are being destroyed in the ESCR process.

In this day and age, we would expect our civilization to move AWAY from cannibalizing our young for our own selfish benefits and toward safer and more effective means to help those who are in need.

 
4699 05/01/2009 at 04:58:54 PM Self     No, no, NO, NO!!!! I do not want public money to fund embryonic stem cell research. Taxpayer money is not meant to be collected and redistributed to subhuman groups or individuals that murder human embryos.

 
4700 05/01/2009 at 04:59:09 PM Self     I am writing this is opposition to opening federal funding for research on human embryonic stem cells. I do not want by tax dollars used to on stem cells taken from human embryos that supposedly are "leftover" from in vitro fertilization. I would like to see the promotion of the adoption of these human embryos for all of the couples out there that do not/cannot have children.

 
4701 05/01/2009 at 04:59:52 PM Self     I oppose the use of public funding for embryonic stem cell research. Please change your guidelines from using my tax dollars to experiment on these stem cells.

 
4702 05/01/2009 at 05:00:05 PM Self     I oppose the funding for embryonic stem cell research. No positive results have come from them unlike the adult stem cell research that has had such great success. I see no foundation for this other than to fill the pockets of those who want to create life to kill life or to just kill. I fear it will also end up the hands of senators, representatives and other people of their ilk who take advantage of people. Please reconsider using the money for this. It is a waste of time.

 
4703 05/01/2009 at 05:01:10 PM Self     Please help patients with Congestive Heart Disease whose enlargement has qualified as End Stage. I believe that my adult stem cells are mine and should not defined a drug when they are changed and returned to my body in essentially the same as prior to being conditioned in a lab and returned to my body. How can it be good health policy when I can leave USA and my ASC's belong to me but are considered not mine treated in lack manner in USA.

THEREFORE, NIH should reverse FDA's policy and develop a new direction for adult stem cells and there use on "End Stage" heart patients, e.g those that only have transplantation as their only option.

 
4704 05/01/2009 at 05:01:29 PM Self     I oppose these NIH regulations of the NIH Stem Cell guidelines.

 
4705 05/01/2009 at 05:01:32 PM Self     I am opposed to the use and death of embryos and I am against the use of taxpayer money to fund embryonic stem cell research. Please consider the benefits of adult stem cells and the research showing it is more effective than embryonic stem cells. I am also opposed to President Obama overturning President Bush's policy, and thus funding more ESCR and the killing of more embryos. Thank you.

 
4706 05/01/2009 at 05:02:06 PM Self     I am opposed to using federal funds to perform human stem cells from embrios based on my religious moral convictions.

 
4707 05/01/2009 at 05:02:11 PM Self     It is important that you do not allow any kind of research that is taking advantage of killing babies. It is also important that research be limited to what actually works, and it is adult stem cells and umbilical stem cells that work, not embryonic stem cells. It is really a waste of money when it dosen't even work.

 
4708 05/01/2009 at 05:02:30 PM Self     Please do not fund embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) because it destroys human embryos. All the latest medical research has shown that embryonic stem cells are not useful and the so call adult stem cells can cure diseases, and in fact can be used in all the ways that embryonic stem cells were thought to be useful. Funding the research on embryonic stem cell is a waste of federal money that can best be used on other medical research or on improving the economy.

 
4709 05/01/2009 at 05:02:56 PM Self     As a Registered Nurse, health and healing are very important to me. There has been a significant amount of successful research done on donated adult stem cells in recent years, with no dangerous side effects. Embryonic stem cell research is done mostly on aborted babies. They have no say in any of this. On opening Federal Funding for embryonic stem cell research, the government is causing every tax payer to be a supporter of this atrocity. Embryonic stem cell research will cause a further promotion of abortion (murder) and make it "Big Business"... making this "holocaust" of those who cannot speak for themselves more "profitable". If i were ill with a condition which could be "cured" using embryonic stem cells... i could not in good conscience accept it. This is an evil in which taxpayers should not be forced to participate.

 
4710 05/01/2009 at 05:03:02 PM Self     Do not fund the research of embryonic stem cells.

 
4711 05/01/2009 at 05:03:16 PM Self     We want to let you know that we oppose using the stem cells from human embryos for research purposes. Adult stem cells have proven to be effective for research and the harvesting of those cells does no harm to the individual. Therefore the destruction of these embryos is unnecessary to further scientific research and is objectionable from a moral standpoint. Both are good reasons to oppose this legislation.

 
4712 05/01/2009 at 05:03:27 PM Self     Life begins at conception. Human stem cell research should be banned. We will be accountable to our heavenly Father for the way we treat the life He created. Thank you for considering the one that has no voice that can be heard. They deserve to be heard as much as those that are destroying them!

 
4713 05/01/2009 at 05:03:38 PM Self     I cannot in good conscious pay my taxes knowing that it will be funding the destruction of human embryos. Why are you making people choose between withholding tax dollars or killing babies? You are overstepping moral and deeply-held religious convictions by going forward with this.

 
4714 05/01/2009 at 05:04:14 PM Self     I am writing this to admonish you to prohibit Federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research. In years past I was "uninformed" as to the viability of a human embryo -I was just simply ambivalent. After spending my internship at a well known hospital and seeing the development of the human fetus at various stages, it became clear that these embryos are, indeed, the essence of humanity. The thought of using these precious embryos as merely a source for experimentation brings nightmarish thoughts of human experimentation during the halocaust! PLEASE- I absolutely do NOT want MY tax money to go for such horrendous purposes! I know that research using adult stem cells has proven to be as informative as that of embryonic stem cell research, so there is no need to proceed down this "slippery slope!"

 
4715 05/01/2009 at 05:04:42 PM Self     My husband has Parkinson's Disease. He, like many others with PD, has nearly exhausted the medications and procedures available to relieve his symptoms. He remains bravely positive in this battle and deserves to know that all avenues which might lead to a cure are being actively pursued!

We are extremely grateful to President Obama for his support of the scientific and humanitarian approach to stem cell research. In response to the request for comments on the NIH guidelines, I would suggest that it is important that Section IIB ensure the inclusion of the current stem cell lines in order to avoid disrupting ongoing research. It is so important to my husband, and to many families like ours that the research move forward ASAP!

 
4716 05/01/2009 at 05:04:45 PM Self     I object to my tax dollars being used to experiment on stem cells taken from human embryos of any kind.

 
4717 05/01/2009 at 05:06:12 PM Self     I am opposed to using federal funds for embryonic stem cell research.

 
4718 05/01/2009 at 05:06:16 PM Self     I strongly disagree with the use of Human Stem Cells as it has not proved to be the appropriate method to cure diseases. On the other hand, I would support research on adult stem cells because they have proven to be successful on over 70 diseases. I sure hope that the right choice is made on this issue.

 
4719 05/01/2009 at 05:06:33 PM Self     [Federal Register: April 23, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 77)] [Notices] [Page 18578-18580] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr23ap09-42]

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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

National Institutes of Health

Draft National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research Notice

SUMMARY: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is requesting public comment on draft guidelines entitled ``National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research'' (Guidelines). The purpose of these draft Guidelines is to implement Executive Order 13505, issued on March 9, 2009, as it pertains to extramural NIH- funded research, to establish policy and procedures under which NIH will fund research in this area, and to help ensure that NIH-funded research in this area is ethically responsible, scientifically worthy, and conducted in accordance with applicable law. Internal NIH procedures, consistent with Executive Order 13505 and these Guidelines, will govern the conduct of intramural NIH research involving human stem cells. These draft Guidelines would allow funding for research using human embryonic stem cells that were derived from embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for reproductive purposes and were no longer needed for that purpose. Funding will continue to be allowed for human stem cell research using adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Specifically, these Guidelines describe the conditions and informed consent procedures that would have been required during the derivation of human embryonic stem cells for research using these cells to be funded by the NIH. NIH funding for research using human embryonic stem cells derived from other sources, including somatic cell nuclear transfer, parthenogenesis, and/or IVF embryos created for research purposes, is not allowed under these Guidelines. NIH funding of the derivation of stem cells from human embryos is prohibited by the annual appropriations ban on funding of human embryo research (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. 110-161, 3/11/ 09), otherwise known as the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. According to these Guidelines, there are some uses of human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells that, although those cells may come from allowable sources, are nevertheless ineligible for NIH funding. For questions regarding ongoing NIH-funded research involving human embryonic stem cells, as well as pending applications and those submitted prior to the issuance of Final Guidelines, see the NIH Guide http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-085.html.

DATES: Written comments must be received by NIH on or before May 26, 2009.

ADDRESSES: The NIH welcomes public comment on the draft Guidelines set forth below. Comments may be entered at: http://nihoerextra.nih.gov/ stem_cells/add.htm. Comments may also be mailed to: NIH Stem Cell Guidelines, MSC 7997, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland 20892- 7997. Comments will be made publicly available, including any personally identifiable or confidential business information they contain.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 9, 2009, President Barack H. Obama issued Executive Order 13505: Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells. The Executive Order states that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the Director of NIH, may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, to the extent permitted by law. The purpose of these draft Guidelines is to implement Executive Order 13505, issued on March 9, 2009, as it pertains to extramural NIH- funded research, to establish policy and procedures under which NIH will fund research in this area, and to help ensure that NIH-funded research in this area is ethically responsible, scientifically worthy, and conducted in accordance with applicable law. Internal NIH procedures, consistent with Executive Order 13505 and these Guidelines, will govern the conduct of intramural NIH research involving human stem cells. Long-standing Department of Health and Human Services regulations for Protection of Human Subjects, 45 CFR part 46, establish safeguards for individuals who are the sources of many human tissues used in research, including non-embryonic human adult stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells. When research involving human adult stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells constitutes human subject research, Institutional Review Board review may be required and informed consent may need to be obtained per the requirements detailed in 45 CFR part 46. Applicants should consult http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/ humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm. As described in these draft Guidelines, human embryonic stem cells are cells that are derived from human embryos, are capable of dividing without differentiating for a prolonged period in culture, and are known to develop into cells and tissues of the three primary germ layers. Although human embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos, such stem cells are not themselves human embryos. Studies of human embryonic stem cells may yield information about the complex events that occur during human development. Some of the most serious medical conditions, such as cancer and birth defects, are due to abnormal cell division and differentiation. A better understanding of the genetic and molecular controls of these processes could provide information about how such diseases arise and suggest new strategies for therapy. Human embryonic stem cells may also be used to test new drugs. For example, new medications could be tested for safety on differentiated somatic cells generated from human embryonic stem cells. Perhaps the most important potential use of human embryonic stem cells is the generation of cells and tissues that could be used for cell-based therapies. Today, donated tissues and organs are often used to replace ailing or destroyed tissue, but the need for transplantable tissues and organs far outweighs the available supply. Stem cells, directed to differentiate into specific cell types, offer the possibility of a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat diseases and conditions, including Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal cord injury, burns, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

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NIH currently funds ongoing research involving human embryonic stem cells as detailed under prior Presidential policy. Under that policy, Federal funds have been used for research on human embryonic stem cells where the derivation process was initiated prior to 9 p.m. EDT August 9, 2001, the embryo was created for reproductive purposes, the embryo was no longer needed for these purposes, informed consent was obtained for the donation of the embryo, and no financial inducements were provided for donation of the embryo. These draft Guidelines would allow funding for research using only those human embryonic stem cells that were derived from embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for reproductive purposes and were no longer needed for that purpose. Funding will continue to be allowed for human stem cell research using adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Specifically, these Guidelines describe the conditions and informed consent procedures that would have been required during the derivation of human embryonic stem cells for research using these cells to be funded by the NIH. NIH funding for research using human embryonic stem cells derived from other sources, including somatic cell nuclear transfer, parthenogenesis, and/or IVF embryos created for research purposes, is not allowed under these Guidelines. Please note that, for NIH funded research using the permitted human embryonic stem cells, the requirements of the Department's protection of human subjects regulations, 45 CFR part 46, may or may not apply, depending on the nature of the research. For further information, see Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Germ Cells and Cell Derived Test Articles: OHRP Guidance for Investigators and Institutional Review Boards. NIH funding of the derivation of stem cells from human embryos is prohibited by the annual appropriations ban on funding of human embryo research (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. 110-161, 3/11/ 09), otherwise known as the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. According to these Guidelines, there are some uses of human embryonic stem cells that, although those cells may come from allowable sources, are nevertheless ineligible for NIH funding. In developing these draft Guidelines, the NIH consulted its Guidelines issued in 2000, as well as the thoughtful guidelines developed by other national and international committees of scientists, bioethicists, patient advocates, physicians and other stakeholders, including the U.S. National Academies, the International Society for Stem Cell Research, and others. As directed by Executive Order 13505, the NIH shall review and update these Guidelines periodically, as appropriate. The Draft Guidelines Follow:

National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research

I. Scope of Guidelines

These Guidelines describe the circumstances under which human embryonic stem cells are eligible for use in extramural NIH-funded research, and they also include a section on uses of human embryonic stem cells or human induced pluripotent stem cells that are ineligible for NIH funding. For the purpose of these Guidelines, ``human embryonic stem cells'' are cells that are derived from human embryos, are capable of dividing without differentiating for a prolonged period in culture, and are known to develop into cells and tissues of the three primary germ layers. Although human embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos, such stem cells are not themselves human embryos.

II. Guidelines for Eligibility of Human Embryonic Stem Cells for Use in Research

A. The Executive Order: Executive Order 13505, Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells, states that the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through the Director of the NIH, may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, to the extent permitted by law. B. Eligibility of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Derived from Human Embryos: Human embryonic stem cells may be used in research using NIH funds, if the cells were derived from human embryos that were created for reproductive purposes, were no longer needed for this purpose, were donated for research purposes, and for which documentation for all of the following can be assured: 1. All options pertaining to use of embryos no longer needed for reproductive purposes were explained to the potential donor(s). 2. No inducements were offered for the donation. 3. A policy was in place at the health care facility where the embryos were donated that neither consenting nor refusing to donate embryos for research would affect the quality of care provided to potential donor(s). 4. There was a clear separation between the prospective donor(s)'s decision to create human embryos for reproductive purposes and the prospective donor(s)'s decision to donate human embryos for research purposes. 5. At the time of donation, consent for that donation was obtained from the individual(s) who had sought reproductive services. That is, even if potential donor(s) had given prior indication of their intent to donate to research any embryos that remained after reproductive treatment, consent for the donation should have been given at the time of the donation. Donor(s) were informed that they retained the right to withdraw consent until the embryos were actually used for research. 6. Decisions related to the creation of human embryos for reproductive purposes were made free from the influence of researchers proposing to derive or utilize human embryonic stem cells in research. Whenever it was practicable, the attending physician responsible for reproductive clinical care and the researcher deriving and/or proposing to utilize human embryonic stem cells should not have been the same person. 7. Written informed consent was obtained from individual(s) who sought reproductive services and who elected to donate human embryos for research purposes. The following information, which is pertinent to making the decision of whether or not to donate human embryos for research purposes, was in the written consent form for donation and discussed with potential donor(s) in the informed consent process: a. A statement that donation of the embryos for research was voluntary; b. A statement that donor(s) understood alternative options pertaining to use of the embryos; c. A statement that the embryos would be used to derive human embryonic stem cells for research; d. Information about what would happen to the embryos in the derivation of human embryonic stem cells for research; e. A statement that human embryonic stem cells derived from the embryos might be maintained for many years; f. A statement that the donation was made without any restriction or direction regarding the individual(s) who may receive medical benefit from the use of the stem cells; g. A statement that the research was not intended to provide direct medical benefit to the donor(s);

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h. A statement as to whether or not information that could identify the donor(s) would be retained prior to the derivation or the use of the human embryonic stem cells (relevant guidance from the DHHS Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) should be followed, as applicable; see OHRP's Guidance for Investigators and Institutional Review Boards Regarding Research Involving Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Germ Cells, and Stem Cell-Derived Test Articles and Guidance on Research Involving Coded Private Information or Biological Specimens, or successor guidances); and i. A statement that the results of research using the human embryonic stem cells may have commercial potential, and a statement that the donor(s) would not receive financial or any other benefits from any such commercial development. C. Prior to the use of NIH funds: Funding recipients must ensure that: (1) The human embryonic stem cells were derived consistent with sections II.A and B of these Guidelines; and (2) the grantee institution maintains appropriate documentation demonstrating such consistency in accordance with 45 CFR 74.53, which also details rights of access by NIH. The responsible grantee institutional official must provide assurances with respect to (1) and (2) when endorsing applications and progress reports submitted to NIH for projects that utilize these cells.

III. Research Using Human Embryonic Stem Cells and/or Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells That, Although the Cells May Come From Allowable Sources, Is Nevertheless Ineligible for NIH Funding

This section governs research using human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells, i.e., human cells that are capable of dividing without differentiating for a prolonged period in culture, and are known to develop into cells and tissues of the three primary germ layers. There are some uses of these cells that, although they may come from allowable sources, are nevertheless ineligible for NIH funding, as follows: A. Research in which human embryonic stem cells (even if derived according to these Guidelines) or human induced pluripotent stem cells are introduced into non-human primate blastocysts. B. Research involving the breeding of animals where the introduction of human embryonic stem cells (even if derived according to these Guidelines) or human induced pluripotent stem cells may have contributed to the germ line.

IV. Other Non-Allowable Research

A. NIH funding of the derivation of stem cells from human embryos is prohibited by the annual appropriations ban on funding of human embryo research (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. 110- 161, 3/11/09), otherwise known as the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. B. NIH funding for research using human embryonic stem cells derived from other sources, including somatic cell nuclear transfer, parthenogenesis, and/or IVF embryos created for research purposes, is not allowed under these Guidelines.

Dated: April 17, 2009. Raynard S. Kington, Acting Director, NIH. [FR Doc. E9-9313 Filed 4-22-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4140-01-P

 
4720 05/01/2009 at 05:06:38 PM Self     I urge you to oppose the use of federal funds for research on human embryonic stem cells for two simple reasons: #1 - such research involved the destruction of human embryos, which are tiny human beings in the earliest stages of life; and #2 - such research is completely unnecessary since great progress and success in treating numerous diseases has already been achieved using adult stem cells.

 
4721 05/01/2009 at 05:07:00 PM Self     For many Americans with a personal connection to type 1 diabetes, the Administration’s expansion of the federal policy on embryonic stem cell research has renewed our hope for a cure. I am writing today to support the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) draft guidelines and suggest a change to ensure promising, ethically conducted research currently underway will be eligible for federal funding in the future.

The Administration’s Executive Order on stem cell research restored scientific decision-making to its rightful place at the NIH. In these guidelines, the NIH has demonstrated its capacity to formulate a research framework that will unleash the potential of embryonic stem cell research while maintaining the highest safety and ethical standards. I would encourage the NIH, however, to grandfather into this policy stem cell lines that have received federal funding, as well as existing lines that were derived in an ethically-responsible manner according to the best practices at the time. Research on these stem cell lines should be eligible for federal funding so that scientists can maximize the scientific advancements already achieved through research on these lines.

Research should be vigorously pursued on all promising stem cell sources that could potentially lead to a cure for type 1 diabetes. While embryonic stem cell research is still in its early stages, this research has already yielded impressive results in our continuing effort to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Recent research suggests that embryonic stem cells can be differentiated to produce the insulin-producing beta cells that could reverse the course of type 1 diabetes.

We do not yet know which stem cell sources may ultimately lead to a cure or be the most clinically useful or practical for patients with type 1 diabetes. It is clear, however, that the more knowledge we gain about embryonic stem cells, the better we can assess the full therapeutic potential of all stem cell sources. These draft guidelines allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research using excess embryos from fertility clinics will ensure that this research matures and its potential is more fully realized. I commend the NIH for allowing this important research to expand in a scientifically and ethically appropriate manner.

 
4722 05/01/2009 at 05:07:07 PM Self     Pllease do not initiate government policy that will deny life to pre born embryos...and will "harvest: their liyttle life beginnings for scientists - especially when there is daily promisingresults results from thje use of adult stem cell tests that give hope to those suffering from diabetis, parkinson disease, etc.

Don't put their life on your hands... stand up to the pressures of this action. Be courages!!!!!

Those of us who hold this position are not heartless people, as some may portray. We too have compassion... including the preborn

 
4723 05/01/2009 at 05:07:10 PM Self     I believe it is a moral issue to use for research embronic stem cells. We should encourage couples to adopt these cells instead.

Also, so far no cures have resulted from embro stem cells, while there have been good results in treating several illnesses with adult stem cells.

We should not be destroying embros and using them for research. Its just not right!

 
4724 05/01/2009 at 05:07:13 PM Self     How ill advised to push embryonic stem cell research when the most promising research to date shows greater potential for adult stem cells, skin cells, etc. This doesn't even need to be a divisive issue, because embryonic stem cell research is not turning out to be the most successful....is this just a political move to further the abortion agenda? That's how it appears....what a shame.

 
4725 05/01/2009 at 05:07:15 PM Self     We should not use federal funding for research on human embryonic stem cells. I do not want my tax dollars spent to experiment on stem cells taken from human embryos that supposedly are "leftover" from in vitro fertilization. Instead of promoting the adoption of these human embryos, these draft guidelines would require their death. I also believe this opens the door to creating embryos for the sole purpose of use in research. Life is life and it is sacred.

 
4726 05/01/2009 at 05:07:29 PM Self     I am commenting on section II.A. of the Guidelines and in particular on the phrase, "the Director of the NIH, may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, to the extent permitted by law." Since nothing has been found "scientifically worthy" about "human embryonic stem cell research" funds cannot be spent to further that cause.

I. No disease has been cured by embryonic stem cells.

To date not ONE disease has been treated or cured by using embryonic stem cells. It is interesting to note though that over 70 diseases have been treated using adult stem cells (like cord blood, skin cells, etc.).

II. There are moral consequences to the Executive Order 13505

I have included the materials available at: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_academies/acdlife/documents/rc_pa_acdlife_doc_20000824_cellule-staminali_en.html

PONTIFICAL ACADEMY FOR LIFE

DECLARATION ON THE PRODUCTION AND THE SCIENTIFIC AND THERAPEUTIC USE OF HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS

This document seeks to contribute to the debate on the production and use of embryonic stem cells which is now taking place in scientific and ethical literature and in public opinion. Given the growing relevance of the debate on the limits and liceity of the production and use of such cells, there is a pressing need to reflect on the ethical implications which are present.

The first section will very briefly set out the most recent scientific data on stem cells and the biotechnological data on their production and use. The second section will draw attention to the more relevant ethical problems raised by these new discoveries and their applications.

Scientific Aspects

Although some aspects need to be studied more thoroughly, a commonly accepted definition of Astem cell" describes it as a cell with two characteristics: 1) the property of an unlimited self-maintenance - that is, the ability to reproduce itself over a long period of time without becoming differentiated; and 2) the capability to produce non-permanent progenitor cells, with limited capacity for proliferation, from which derive a variety of lineages of highly differentiated cells (neural cells, muscle cells, blood cells, etc.). For about thirty years stem cells have provided a vast field of research in adult tissue,[i] in embryonic tissue and in in vitro cultures of embryonic stem cells of experimental animals.[ii] But public attention has recently increased with a new milestone that has been reached: the production of human embryonic stem cells.

Human embryonic stem cells

Today, the preparation of human embryonic stem cells (human ES cells) implies the following[iii]: 1) the production of human embryos and/or the use of the surplus embryos resulting from in vitro fertilization or of frozen embryos; 2) the development of these embryos to the stage of initial blastocysts; 3) the isolation of the embryoblast or inner cell mass (ICM) - which implies the destruction of the embryo; 4) culturing these cells on a feeder layer of irradiated mouse embryonic fibroblasts in a suitable medium, where they can multiply and coalesce to form colonies; 5) repeated subculturing of these colonies, which lead to the formation of cell lines capable of multiplying indefinitely while preserving the characteristics of ES cells for months and years.

These ES cells, however, are only the point of departure for the preparation of differentiated cell lines, that is, of cells with the characteristics proper of the various tissues (muscle, neural, epithelial, haematic, germinal, etc.). Methods for obtaining them are still being studied;[iv] but the injection of human ES cells into experimental animals (mice) or their culture in vitro in controlled environments to their confluence have shown that they are able to produce differentiated cells which, in a normal development, would derive from the three different embryonic tissue layers: endoderm (intestinal epithelium), mesoderm (cartilage, bone, smooth and striated muscle) and ectoderm (neural epithelium, squamous epithelium).[v]

The results of these experiments had a great impact on the world of both science and biotechnology - especially medicine and pharmacology - no less than the world of business and the mass media. There were high hopes that the application of this knowledge would lead to new and safer ways of treating serious diseases, something which had been sought for years.[vi] But the impact was greatest in the political world.[vii] In the United States in particular, in response to the long-standing opposition of Congress to the use of federal funds for research in which human embryos were destroyed, there came strong pressure from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), among others, to obtain funds for at least using stem cells produced by private groups; there came also recommendations from the National Bioethics Advisory Committee (NBAC), established by the Federal Government to study the problem, that public money should be given not only for research on embryonic stem cells but also for producing them. Indeed, persistent efforts are being made to rescind definitively the present legal ban on the use of federal funds for research on human embryos.

Similar pressures are being brought to bear also in England, Japan and Australia.

Therapeutic cloning

It had become clear that the therapeutic use of ES cells, as such, entailed significant risks, since - as had been observed in experiments on mice - tumours resulted. It would have been necessary therefore to prepare specialized lines of differentiated cells as they were needed; and it did not appear that this could be done in a short period of time. But, even if successful, it would have been very difficult to be certain that the inoculation or therapeutic implant was free of stem cells, which would entail the corresponding risks. Moreover there would have been a need for further treatment to overcome immunological incompatibility. For these reasons, three methods of therapeutic cloning[viii] were proposed, suitable for preparing pluripotent human embryonic stem cells with well defined genetic information from which desired differentiation would then follow.

1. The replacement of the nucleus of an oocyte with the nucleus of an adult cell of a given subject, followed by embryonic development to the stage of blastocyst and the use of the inner cell mass (ICM) in order to obtain ES cells and, from these, the desired differentiated cells.

2. The transfer of a nucleus of a cell of a given subject into an oocite of another animal. An eventual success in this procedure should lead - it is presumed - to the development of a human embryo, to be used as in the preceding case.

3. The reprogramming of the nucleus of a cell of a given subject by fusing the ES cytoplast with a somatic cell karyoplast, thus obtaining a "cybrid". This is a possibility which is still under study. In any event, this method too would seem to demand a prior preparation of ES cells from human embryos.

Current scientific research is looking to the first of these possibilities as the preferred method, but it is obvious that - from a moral point of view, as we shall see - all three proposed solutions are unacceptable.

Adult stem cells

From studies on adult stem cells (ASC) in the last thirty years it had been clearly shown that many adult tissues contain stem cells, but stem cells capable of producing only cells proper to a given tissue. That is, it was not thought that these cells could be reprogrammed. In more recent years,[ix] however, pluripotent stem cells were also discovered in various human tissues - in bone marrow (HSCs), in the brain (NSCs), in the mesenchyme (MSCs) of various organs, and in umbilical cord blood (P/CB, placental/cord blood); these are cells capable of producing different types of cells, mostly blood cells, muscle cells and neural cells. It was learnt how to recognize them, select them, maintain them in development, and induce them to form different types of mature cells by means of growth factors and other regulating proteins. Indeed noteworthy progress has already been made in the experimental field, applying the most advanced methods of genetic engineering and molecular biology in analyzing the genetic programme at work in stem cells,[x] and in importing the desired genes into stem cells or progenitor cells which, when implanted, are able to restore specific functions to damaged tissue.[xi] It is sufficient to mention, on the basis of the reported references, that in human beings the stem cells of bone marrow, from which the different lines of blood cells are formed, have as their marker the molecule CD34; and that, when purified, these cells are able to restore entirely the normal blood count in patients who receive ablative doses of radiation and chemotherapy, and this with a speed which is in proportion to the quantity of cells used. Furthermore, there are already indications on how to guide the development of neural stem cells (NSCs) through the use of various proteins - among them neuroregulin and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) - which can direct NSCs to become neurons or glia (myelin-producing neural support cells) or even smooth muscle tissue.

The note of satisfaction, albeit cautious, with which many of the cited works conclude is an indication of the great promise that Aadult stem cells" offer for effective treatment of many pathologies. Thus the affirmation made by D. J. Watt and G. E. Jones: A The muscle stem cell, whether it be of the embryonic myoblast lineage, or of the adult satellite status, may well turn out to be a cell with far greater importance to tissues other than its tissue of origin and may well hold the key to future therapies for diseases other than those of a myogenic nature" (p. 93). As J. A. Nolta and D. B. Kohn emphasize: AProgress in the use of gene transfer into haemotopoietic cells has led to initial clinical trials. Information developed by these early efforts will be used to guide future developments. Ultimately, gene therapy may allow a number of genetic and acquired diseases to be treated, without the current complications from bone marrow transplantation with allogeneic cells." (p. 460); and the confirmation offered by D. L. Clarke and J. Frisén: "These studies suggest that stem cells in different adult tissues may be more similar than previously thought and perhaps in some cases have a developmental repertoire close to that of ES cells" (p. 1663) and Ademonstrates that an adult neural stem cell has a very broad developmental capacity and may potentially be used to generate a variety of cell types for transplantation in different diseases@ (p. 1660).

The progress and results obtained in the field of adult stem cells (ASC) show not only their great plasticity but also their many possible uses, in all likelihood no different from those of embryonic stem cells, since plasticity depends in large part upon genetic information, which can be reprogrammed.

Obviously, it is not yet possible to compare the therapeutic results obtained and obtainable using embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. For the latter, various pharmaceutical firms are already conducting clinical experiments[xii] which are showing success and raising genuine hopes for the not too distant future. With embryonic stem cells, even if various experimental approaches prove positive,[xiii] their application in the clinical field - owing precisely to the serious ethical and legal problems which arise - needs to be seriously reconsidered and requires a great sense of responsibility before the dignity of every human being.

Ethical Problems

Given the nature of this article, the key ethical problems implied by these new technologies are presented briefly, with an indication of the responses which emerge from a careful consideration of the human subject from the moment of conception. It is this consideration which underlies the position affirmed and put forth by the Magisterium of the Church.

The first ethical problem, which is fundamental, can be formulated thus: Is it morally licit to produce and/or use living human embryos for the preparation of ES cells?

The answer is negative, for the following reasons:

1. On the basis of a complete biological analysis, the living human embryo is - from the moment of the union of the gametes - a human subject with a well defined identity, which from that point begins its own coordinated, continuous and gradual development, such that at no later stage can it be considered as a simple mass of cells.[xiv]

2. From this it follows that as a Ahuman individual" it has the right to its own life; and therefore every intervention which is not in favour of the embryo is an act which violates that right. Moral theology has always taught that in the case of Ajus certum tertii" the system of probabilism does not apply.[xv]

3. Therefore, the ablation of the inner cell mass (ICM) of the blastocyst, which critically and irremediably damages the human embryo, curtailing its development, is a gravely immoral act and consequently is gravely illicit.

4. No end believed to be good, such as the use of stem cells for the preparation of other differentiated cells to be used in what look to be promising therapeutic procedures, can justify an intervention of this kind. A good end does not make right an action which in itself is wrong.

5. For Catholics, this position is explicitly confirmed by the Magisterium of the Church which, in the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, with reference to the Instruction Donum Vitae of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, affirms: AThe Church has always taught and continues to teach that the result of human procreation, from the first moment of its existence, must be guaranteed that unconditional respect which is morally due to the human being in his or her totality and unity in body and spirit: >The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life'"(No. 60).[xvi]

The second ethical problem can be formulated thus: Is it morally licit to engage in so-called Atherapeutic cloning" by producing cloned human embryos and then destroying them in order to produce ES cells?

The answer is negative, for the following reason: Every type of therapeutic cloning, which implies producing human embryos and then destroying them in order to obtain stem cells, is illicit; for there is present the ethical problem examined above, which can only be answered in the negative.[xvii]

The third ethical problem can be formulated thus: Is it morally licit to use ES cells, and the differentiated cells obtained from them, which are supplied by other researchers or are commercially obtainable?

The answer is negative, since: prescinding from the participation - formal or otherwise - in the morally illicit intention of the principal agent, the case in question entails a proximate material cooperation in the production and manipulation of human embryos on the part of those producing or supplying them.

In conclusion, it is not hard to see the seriousness and gravity of the ethical problem posed by the desire to extend to the field of human research the production and/or use of human embryos, even from an humanitarian perspective.

The possibility, now confirmed, of using adult stem cells to attain the same goals as would be sought with embryonic stem cells - even if many further steps in both areas are necessary before clear and conclusive results are obtained - indicates that adult stem cells represent a more reasonable and human method for making correct and sound progress in this new field of research and in the therapeutic applications which it promises. These applications are undoubtedly a source of great hope for a significant number of suffering people.

The President Prof. Juan de Dios Vial Correa

The Vice President S.E. Mons. Elio Sgreccia

Vatican City, August 25, 2000.

NOTES

[i].Cf. M. LOEFFLER, C. S POTTEN, Stem Cells and Cellular Pedigrees - a Conceptual Introduction, in C. S. POTTEN (ed.), Stem Cells, Academic Press, London (1997), pp.1-27; D. Van der KOOY, S. WEISS, Why Stem Cells?, Science 2000, 287, 1439-1441.

[ii].Cf. T: NAKANO, H. KODAMA, T. HONJO, Generation of Lymphohematopoietic Cells from Embryonic Stem Cells in Culture, Science 1994, 265, 1098-1101; G. KELLER, In Vitro Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells, Current Opinion in Cell Biology 1995, 7, 862-869; S. ROBERTSON, M. KENNEDY, G. KELLER, Hematopoietic Commitment During Embryogenesis, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1999, 872, 9-16.

[iii].Cf. J. A .THOMSON, J. ITSKOVITZ-ELDOR, S. S. SHAPIRO et al., Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Derived from Human Blastocysts, Science 1998, 282, 1145-1147; G. VOGEL, Harnessing the Power of Stem Cells, Science 1999, 283, 1432-1434.

[iv].Cf. F. M. WATT, B. L. M. HOGAN, Out of Eden: Stem Cells and Their Niches, Science 2000, 287, 1427-1430.

[v].Cf. J. A. THOMSON, J. ITSKOVITZ-ELDOR, S. S. SHAPIRO et al., op. cit.

[vi].Cf. U.S. CONGRESS, OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT, Neural Grafting: Repairing the Brain and Spinal Cord, OTA-BA-462, Washington, DC, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990; A. McLAREN, Stem Cells: Golden Opportunities with Ethical Baggage, Science 2000, 288, 1778.

[vii].Cf. E. MARSHALL, A Versatile Cell Line Raises Scientific Hopes, Legal Questions, Science 1998, 282, 1014-1015; J. GEARHART, New Potential for Human Embryonic Stem Cells, ibid., 1061-1062; E. MARSHALL, Britain Urged to Expand Embryo Studies, ibid., 2167-2168; 73 SCIENTISTS, Science Over Politics, Science 1999, 283, 1849-1850; E. MARSHALL, Ethicists Back Stem Cell Research, White House Treads Cautiously, Science 1999, 285, 502; H. T. SHAPIRO, Ethical Dilemmas and Stem Cell Research, ibid., 2065; G. VOGEL, NIH Sets Rules for Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Science 1999, 286, 2050; G. KELLER, H. R. SNODGRASS, Human Embryonic Stem Cells: the Future Is Now, Nature Medicine 1999, 5, 151-152; G.J. ANNAS, A. CAPLAN, S. ELIAS, Stem Cell Politics, Ethics and Medical Progress, ibid., 1339-1341; G. VOGEL, Company Gets Rights to Cloned Human Embryos, Science 2000, 287, 559; D. NORMILE, Report Would Open Up Research in Japan, ibid., 949; M. S. FRANKEL, In Search of Stem Cell Policy, ibid., 1397; D. PERRY, Patients Voices: the Powerful Sound in the Stem Cell Debate, ibid., 1423; N. LENOIR, Europe Confronts the Embryonic Stem Cell Research Challenge, ibid., 1425-1427; F. E. YOUNG, A Time for Restraint, ibid., 1424; EDITORIAL, Stem Cells, Nature Medicine 2000, 6, 231.

[viii].D. DAVOR, J. GEARHART, Putting Stem Cells to Work, Science 1999, 283, 1468-1470.

[ix].Cf. C. S. POTTEN (ed.), Stem Cells, Academic Press, London 1997, p. 474; D. ORLIC, T. A. BOCK, L. KANZ, Hemopoietic Stem Cells: Biology and Transplantation, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sciences, vol. 872, New York 1999, p. 405; M. F. PITTENGER, A. M. MACKAY, S.C. BECK et al., Multilineage Potential of Adult Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Science 1999, 284, 143-147; C. R. R. BJORNSON, R.L. RIETZE, B. A. REYNOLDS et al., Turning Brain into Blood: a Hematopoietic Fate Adopted by Adult Neural Stem Cells in vivo, Science 1999, 283, 534-536; V. OUREDNIK, J. OUREDNIK, K. I. PARK, E. Y. SNYDER, Neural Stem Cells - a Versatile Tool for Cell Replacement and Gene Therapy in the Central Nervous System, Clinical Genetics 1999, 56, 267-278; I. LEMISCHKA, Searching for Stem Cell Regulatory Molecules: Some General Thoughts and Possible Approaches, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1999, 872, 274-288; H. H. GAGE, Mammalian Neural Stem Cells, Science 2000, 287, 1433-1438; D. L. CLARKE, C. B. JOHANSSON, J. FRISEN et al., Generalized Potential of Adult Neural Stem Cells, Science 2000, 288, 1660-1663; G. VOGEL, Brain Cells Reveal Surprising Versatility, ibid., 1559-1561.

[x].Cf. R. L. PHILLIPS, R. E. ERNST, I. R. LEMISCHKA, et al., The Genetic Program of Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Science 2000, 288, 1635-1640.

[xi].Cf. D. J. WATT, G. E. JONES, Skeletal Muscle Stem Cells: Function and Potential Role in Therapy, in C. S. POTTEN, Stem Cells, op. cit., 75-98; J. A. NOLTA, D. B. KOHN, Haematopoietic Stem Cells for Gene Therapy, ibid., 447-460; Y. REISNER, E. BACHAR-LUSTIG, H-W. LI et al., The Role of Megadose CD34+ Progenitor Cells in the Treatment of Leukemia Patients Without a Matched Donor and in Tolerance Induction for Organ Transplantation, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1999, 872, 336-350; D. W. EMERY, G. STAMATOY­ANNO­POULOS, Stem Cell Gene Therapy for the ß-Chain Hemoglobinopathies, ibid., 94-108; M. GRIFFITH, R. OSBORNE, R. MUNGER, Functional Human Corneal Equivalents Constructed from Cell Lines, Science 1999, 286, 2169-2172; N. S. ROY, S. WANG, L. JIANG et al., In vitro Neurogenesis by Progenitor Cells Isolated from the Adult Hippocampus, Nature Medicine 2000, 6, 271-277; M. NOBLE, Can Neural Stem Cells Be Used as Therapeutic Vehicles in the Treatment of Brain Tumors?, ibid., 369-370; I. L. WEISSMAN, Translating Stem and Progenitor Cell Biology to the Clinic: Barriers and Opportunities, Science 2000, 287, 1442-1446; P. SERUP, Panning for Pancreatic Stem Cells, Nature Genetics 2000, 25, 134-135.

[xii].E. MARSHALL, The Business of Stem Cells, Science 2000, 287, 1419-1421.

[xiii].Cf. O. BRUSTLE, K. N. JONES, R. D. LEARISH et al., Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Glial Precursors: a Source of Myelinating Transplants, Science 1999, 285, 754-756; J. W. McDONALD, X-Z LIU, Y. QU et al., Transplanted Embryonic Stem Cells Survive, Differentiate and Promote Recovery in Injured Rat Spinal Cord, Nature Medicine 1999, 5, 1410-1412.

[xiv].Cf. A. SERRA , R. COLOMBO, Identità e Statuto dell'Embrione Umano: il Contributo della Biologia, in PONTIFICIA ACADEMIA PRO VITA, Identità e Statuto dell'Embrione Umano, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano 1998, pp.106-158.

[xv].Cf. I. CARRASCO de PAULA, Il Rispetto Dovuto all'Embrione Umano: Pro­spettiva Storico-Dottrinale, in ibid., pp. 9-33; R. LUCAS LUCAS, Statuto Antropologico dell'Embrione Umano, in ibid., pp.159-185; M. COZZOLI, L'Embrione Umano: Aspetti Etico-Normativi, in ibid., pp.237- 273; L. EUSEBI, La Tutela dell'Embrione Umano: Profili Giuridici, in ibid., pp. 274-286.

[xvi].JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical Letter "Evangelium Vitae" (25 March 1995), Acta Apostolicae Sedis 1995, 87, 401-522; cf. also CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origins and on the Dignity of Procreation "Donum Vitae" (22 February 1987), Acta Apostolicae Sedis 1988, 80, 70-102.

[xvii].CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, op. cit., I, no. 6; C.B.COHEN (ed.), Special Issue: Ethics and the Cloning of Human Embryos, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 1994, n.4, 187-282; H. T. SHAPIRO, Ethical and Policy Issues of Human Cloning, Science 1997, 277, 195-196; M.L. DI PIETRO, Dalla Clonazione Animale alla Clonazione dell'Uomo?, Medicina e Morale 1997, no. 6, 1099-2005; A. SERRA, Verso la Clonazione dell'Uomo? Una Nuova Frontiera della Scienza, La Civiltà Cattolica 1998 I, 224-234; ibid., La Clonazione Umana in Prospettiva "Sapienziale", ibid., 329-339.

III. Additional Materials

I have included the materials available at: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20081208_dignitas-personae_en.html

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

INSTRUCTION DIGNITAS PERSONAE

ON CERTAIN BIOETHICAL QUESTIONS

INTRODUCTION

1. The dignity of a person must be recognized in every human being from conception to natural death. This fundamental principle expresses a great “yes” to human life and must be at the center of ethical reflection on biomedical research, which has an ever greater importance in today’s world. The Church’s Magisterium has frequently intervened to clarify and resolve moral questions in this area. The Instruction Donum vitae was particularly significant.[1] And now, twenty years after its publication, it is appropriate to bring it up to date.

The teaching of Donum vitae remains completely valid, both with regard to the principles on which it is based and the moral evaluations which it expresses. However, new biomedical technologies which have been introduced in the critical area of human life and the family have given rise to further questions, in particular in the field of research on human embryos, the use of stem cells for therapeutic purposes, as well as in other areas of experimental medicine. These new questions require answers. The pace of scientific developments in this area and the publicity they have received have raised expectations and concerns in large sectors of public opinion. Legislative assemblies have been asked to make decisions on these questions in order to regulate them by law; at times, wider popular consultation has also taken place.

These developments have led the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to prepare a new doctrinal Instruction which addresses some recent questions in the light of the criteria expressed in the Instruction Donum vitae and which also examines some issues that were treated earlier, but are in need of additional clarification.

2. In undertaking this study, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has benefited from the analysis of the Pontifical Academy for Life and has consulted numerous experts with regard to the scientific aspects of these questions, in order to address them with the principles of Christian anthropology. The Encyclicals Veritatis splendor[2] and Evangelium vitae[3] of John Paul II, as well as other interventions of the Magisterium, offer clear indications with regard to both the method and the content of the examination of the problems under consideration.

In the current multifaceted philosophical and scientific context, a considerable number of scientists and philosophers, in the spirit of the Hippocratic Oath, see in medical science a service to human fragility aimed at the cure of disease, the relief of suffering and the equitable extension of necessary care to all people. At the same time, however, there are also persons in the world of philosophy and science who view advances in biomedical technology from an essentially eugenic perspective.

3. In presenting principles and moral evaluations regarding biomedical research on human life, the Catholic Church draws upon the light both of reason and of faith and seeks to set forth an integral vision of man and his vocation, capable of incorporating everything that is good in human activity, as well as in various cultural and religious traditions which not infrequently demonstrate a great reverence for life.

The Magisterium also seeks to offer a word of support and encouragement for the perspective on culture which considers science an invaluable service to the integral good of the life and dignity of every human being. The Church therefore views scientific research with hope and desires that many Christians will dedicate themselves to the progress of biomedicine and will bear witness to their faith in this field. She hopes moreover that the results of such research may also be made available in areas of the world that are poor and afflicted by disease, so that those who are most in need will receive humanitarian assistance. Finally, the Church seeks to draw near to every human being who is suffering, whether in body or in spirit, in order to bring not only comfort, but also light and hope. These give meaning to moments of sickness and to the experience of death, which indeed are part of human life and are present in the story of every person, opening that story to the mystery of the Resurrection. Truly, the gaze of the Church is full of trust because “Life will triumph: this is a sure hope for us. Yes, life will triumph because truth, goodness, joy and true progress are on the side of life. God, who loves life and gives it generously, is on the side of life”.[4]

The present Instruction is addressed to the Catholic faithful and to all who seek the truth.[5] It has three parts: the first recalls some anthropological, theological and ethical elements of fundamental importance; the second addresses new problems regarding procreation; the third examines new procedures involving the manipulation of embryos and the human genetic patrimony.

First Part:

Anthropological, Theological and Ethical Aspects of Human Life and Procreation

4. In recent decades, medical science has made significant strides in understanding human life in its initial stages. Human biological structures and the process of human generation are better known. These developments are certainly positive and worthy of support when they serve to overcome or correct pathologies and succeed in re-establishing the normal functioning of human procreation. On the other hand, they are negative and cannot be utilized when they involve the destruction of human beings or when they employ means which contradict the dignity of the person or when they are used for purposes contrary to the integral good of man.

The body of a human being, from the very first stages of its existence, can never be reduced merely to a group of cells. The embryonic human body develops progressively according to a well-defined program with its proper finality, as is apparent in the birth of every baby.

It is appropriate to recall the fundamental ethical criterion expressed in the Instruction Donum vitae in order to evaluate all moral questions which relate to procedures involving the human embryo: “Thus the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence, that is to say, from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality. The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life”.[6]

5. This ethical principle, which reason is capable of recognizing as true and in conformity with the natural moral law, should be the basis for all legislation in this area.[7] In fact, it presupposes a truth of an ontological character, as Donum vitae demonstrated from solid scientific evidence, regarding the continuity in development of a human being.

If Donum vitae, in order to avoid a statement of an explicitly philosophical nature, did not define the embryo as a person, it nonetheless did indicate that there is an intrinsic connection between the ontological dimension and the specific value of every human life. Although the presence of the spiritual soul cannot be observed experimentally, the conclusions of science regarding the human embryo give “a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of the first appearance of a human life: how could a human individual not be a human person?”.[8] Indeed, the reality of the human being for the entire span of life, both before and after birth, does not allow us to posit either a change in nature or a gradation in moral value, since it possesses full anthropological and ethical status. The human embryo has,

 
4727 05/01/2009 at 05:07:34 PM Self     Dear Review Committee,

Responsible universities engaged in research on human subjects require strict oversight of their researchers as well as informed consent of their research subjects so as to protect the most vulnerable classes of human beings. Human embryos, life in its most vulnerable state, require the utmost protection. Research on embryonic cells by its very nature ensures the death of life. This violates any notion of "ethically responsible" and "scientifically worthy" approaches to research. I strongly object that my tax dollars are obligated to support such acts that necessitate the taking of viable life, that in many circumstances have led to successsful adoptions. I do however, see the benefit of research on adult stem cells that do not necessitate the taking of life. NIH should conclude from its review that American taxpayers would benefit from funding that which leads to life not death.

 
4728 05/01/2009 at 05:07:46 PM Self     Regarding [Federal Register: April 23, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 77)]- The ties of the current Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to the abortion industry in general and reknowned abortionist, Tiller specifically, create an unresolvable conflict of interest regarding what constitutes responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research.

Regarding [[Page 18579]]Sec II. B. - /if the cells were derived from human embryos that were created for reproductive purposes, were no longer needed for this purpose, were donated for research purposes/ - Who determins the appropriat amount of human embryos needed or unneeded, and subsequent use for reproduction or research?

Finally when the president of the United States specifically stated we would only direct tax funds to "progams that work", why are the american people being required to fund research that has proven to be totaly ineffective since it's inception? Adult stem cell research has provided proven and successful results. Use of adult stem cells avoids the moral implications involved with the use of embryonic stem cells and appear to be limited in number only by human existence.

The majority of americans agree we should fund medical research, and would prefer their money be focused and directed to proven efforts, particularly if the focus is unencumbered by moral implications. Requiring the support of moraly reprehensible, not to mention wholly unsuccessful policy should frankly be considered criminal.

 
4729 05/01/2009 at 05:07:54 PM Self     Embryonic stem-cell research/cloning along with abortion of innocent babies, no matter how small, and with any government-aproved death via asisted suicide or restriction of health care for the elderly or "non-productive" citizen will reap a whirlwind of destruction of the USA. That destruction will include the people who believe that all this manipulation of God-given life is acceptable.

 
4730 05/01/2009 at 05:08:00 PM Self     Question? Are stem cells animal, vegetable or mineral? If they are human, then to destroy them is MURDER.

 
4731 05/01/2009 at 05:08:02 PM Self     Please do not allow or continue to allow embryonic stem cell research. I object to this type of research on moral grounds, i.e., for every embryo used, there is one human life destroyed. It is therefore immoral to use American tax dollars to fund the indirect destruction of human life. In addition, there have been no known cures yet from embryonic stem cell research, and the research using adult stem cell research is successful. Please only use adult stem cells.

 
4732 05/01/2009 at 05:08:02 PM Self     How dare you use my tax dollars to fund the destruction of human embryos? If these methods of science were really so successful then private companies would be all over it - just as aggressive as the pharmaceutical companies are with their drugs. No one has even offered because they already know it will be a failure. Stick to adult stem cells which have huge successes. Look at the news around the world - embryonic stem cells only create cancer. You know Mao Zedong stuck with Communism even though he sat there and watched it fail in Russia b/c he was stubborn. You're taking the same route.

 
4733 05/01/2009 at 05:08:04 PM Self     We do not agree with this guideline. So far none of the stem cells that are to be used have been proven successful.

There is adequate proof that adult cells have proven far superior to embryonic cells.

Please reconsider your recommendations and allow no further testing of embryonic cells.

Although we are not quoting specific wording the fact is that we absolutely oppose this recommendation.

 
4734 05/01/2009 at 05:08:45 PM Self     We stongly oppolse the use of federal funds for research on human embryonic stem cells. It is our firmly held conviction that humans at all stages of development are worthy of protection! We do not want our tax dollars to be used to destroy human beings, whether the embryos are so-called "extras" created for in-vitro processes or are created for the purpose of destroying them!

 
4735 05/01/2009 at 05:08:54 PM Self     Please do not proceed with embryonic stem cell/cloning, research, somatic cell transfers or other means to produce embryos. There is no good reason for creating life to experiment with the lives themselves. Using 'health' and cures for diseases is a dishonest argument for this type of research with the breakthroughs in adult stem cell research. May God have mercy on us all if you go forward with this nonsense.

 
4736 05/01/2009 at 05:09:55 PM Self     Please don't kill babies in the name of research. The embryo grows to become a human. Please don't allow this continue.

 
4737 05/01/2009 at 05:09:59 PM Self     no federal funds to be used for embryonic stem cell research!!!! now i'm hearing that they turn into cancer anyway. with all the success of adult stem cells, why are we still researching with embryonic stem cells? not with my tax dollars!!! this is crossing a moral and ethical line that i don't want to cross!

 
4738 05/01/2009 at 05:10:04 PM Self     I oppose the Stem Cell Guidelines the Excutive Order to use Human Embryonic. I am asking that our leaders of the United States be in opposition with the this order.

 
4739 05/01/2009 at 05:11:05 PM Self     The adult Human Stem are a much safer and proven research. You do not need to kill/murder/torture NIH Human Stem Cell to do research. We are suppose to protect life and not abuse it to do research. Why not look into the research Japan has done with Adult Stem Cells? Each life is important and sacred. Please do not destroy tiny life. You did not create life, neither have you the right to destroy and do research with it. That the Nazi's did. Do not copy them or become like them. That is a dark road to be on.

 
4740 05/01/2009 at 05:11:10 PM Self     I am totally against the use of embryos for research. I urge that existing embryos be available for adoption....not experimentation.

Thank you,

Rodney

 
4741 05/01/2009 at 05:11:15 PM Self     Letter of Protest: Funding of embryonic stem cell research

Per:" These draft Guidelines would allow funding for research using human embryonic stem cells that were derived from embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for reproductive purposes and were no longer needed for that purpose [source: Draft National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research Notice]."

This funding of "human embryonic stem cells " should never take place ! Such embryonic stem cell research has only shown the propensity to form tumors. Also, embryonic stem cell research has yet to produce even one possible treatment. BUT the use of adult stem cells has yielded over 70 cures and possible cures . A short list follows [ source: Godless: The Church of Liberalism: Ann Coulter and multiple press releases I have collected]:

- rebuilding livers wracked by otherwise irreversible cirrhosis - repairing spinal cord injuries by using stem cells from nasal and sinus regions - completely reversing Type 1 diabetes in mice using adult spleen cells - putting Crohn's disease into remission with the patient's own blood stem cells - putting lupus into remission using stem cells from the patient's bloodstream - treating sickle-cell anemia using stem cells from umbilical cord blood - repairing the heart muscles in patients with congestive heart failure using adult stem cells from bone marrow - repairing heart attack damage with the patient's own blood stem cells - restoring bone marrow in cancer patients using stem cells from umbilical cord blood - restoring weak heart muscles using immature skeletal muscle cells - putting leukemia into remission using umbilical cord blood - healing bone fractures with bone marrow cells - restoring sight in blind people using an ocular surface stem cell transplant and a cornea transplant - treating urinary incontinence using stem cells from underarm muscle - reversing severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) w genetically modified adult stem cells - restoring blood circulation in legs with bone marrow stem cells

If the pragmatic line of reasoning is insufficient for you, there is the issue of destroying life in the process of doing embryonic stem cell research — "from embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for reproductive purposes" — which clearly indicates [potential] human life is being destroyed.

For all the above reasons, the funding of human embryonic stem cells is WRONG, IMMORAL and MURDER. All our choices have consequences !

 
4742 05/01/2009 at 05:11:23 PM Self     Dear Sirs, We are a Christian Family and we are strongly against using embryonic stem cells for any research. This is murder and the use of adult stem cells are the only ones that have shown results with usage. We want the government to stop playing god and also using our tax money to decide what to do instead of asking the American People. We know the liberal agenda of this present government and justice by the Lord will be done.

 
4743 05/01/2009 at 05:11:38 PM Self     I am opposed to the use of any kind of human embryonic cells for research purposes. The DNA found in the fertilized egg is human and unique. It has all the information to direct the assembly, growth and full functioning of a totally unique, never-to-be-repeated human being. Stem cells, too, therefore, contain this same complete information, as witness their ability to differentiate into multiple tissue types, as cued by their environment, whether it is the embryo's cytoplasm or an artificially-assembled milleau. Anyone, science-minded or not, when informed with the true information about human embryos, will come to see the inhumanity of destroying any stages of human life. I am opposed to experimentation on human embryos at any stage of life, not for religious reasons, not for political expediency, not for the fame of supporting a volatile social issue. I am opposed because I am human. Every human embryo, of any age, killed for any reason, is a precious human child who will never come to be.

 
4744 05/01/2009 at 05:11:54 PM Self     I will make my comments short on this subject. Let's all get real, America understands there is no benefit to this research, and we are not willing to dump our tax dollars into the cesspool of government waste. Let the real America stand up and be heard. Let true hard working American citizens vote on this issue, it should not be dictated by an indifferent government.

 
4745 05/01/2009 at 05:12:41 PM Self     Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am a member of the Parkinson’s community and have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress.

I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made.

I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
4746 05/01/2009 at 05:12:52 PM Self     The latest research has shown that embryonic stem cells are not useful for any medical purpose and, in fact, can be dangerous when used on human subjects. The so called adult stem cells have cured diseases, and in fact can be used in all the ways that embryonic stem cells were thought to be useful. Funding research on embryonic stem cell is a waste of federal money that can best be used on other medical research or on improving the economy, so please do not fund embryonic stem cell research (ESCR).

 
4747 05/01/2009 at 05:12:56 PM Self     This is terribly wrong because it is against God's will!!

 
4748 05/01/2009 at 05:13:07 PM Self     On April 23, NIH officially posted draft guidelines to open federal funding for research on human embryonic stem cells. What these guidelines do is send my tax dollars to experiment on stem cells taken from human embryos that supposedly are "leftover" from in vitro fertilization. Instead of promoting the adoption of these human embryos, these draft guidelines would require their death. Therefore, I oppose the guidelines.

 
4749 05/01/2009 at 05:13:29 PM Self     Once conception takes place the resulting human being will continue to grow to adulthood. If the developement of the human is stopped by freezing for storage in an early stage it is no less a human being. Removing stem cells from such a person results in the death of that person. We call the killing of pre born human persons a criminal act and the courts have convicted them of that crime.Please do not extend this betrayal of life beyond the original limit that was set as a compromise.

 
4750 05/01/2009 at 05:13:46 PM Self     We are STRONGLY opposed to having taxpayer money being used to fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research & the killing of embryos or aborting babies to obtain the Stem Cells to test with.

We are not opposed to taxpayer funding of testing on Adult Stem Cells however. In fact, these Stem Cells (adult, instead of embryonic) is where the new, viable scientific discoveries have been found.

Please do NOT fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research with ANY Taxpayer Funds.

Thank you.

 
4751 05/01/2009 at 05:13:53 PM Self     I strongly oppose the use of taxpayer money to conduct embryonic stem cell research. Nobody should be forced to pay for immoral, unethical experimentation with human life at any stage. So far, only adult stem cells have proven to be successful. This is a dictatorial decision and limits our freedom as taxpayers. I resent it wholeheartedly.

 
4752 05/01/2009 at 05:14:02 PM Self     As a concerned citizen, I am against this piece of legislature due to my concerns involving the sanctity of life for those "unwanted" embryos. I believe adoption is a more moral option rather than utilizing those embryos in experimentation which has proven less successful than stem cell research.

 
4753 05/01/2009 at 05:14:17 PM Self     we oppose the use of taxpayer money on moral grounds for the study of embryonic stem cell research.

 
4754 05/01/2009 at 05:14:22 PM Self     The use of human embryonic stem cells derived from frozen embryos is no longer necessary for research purposes. The Bush cell lines and animal cell lines can be used for basic research purposes, and the new technology of creating/inducing human embryonic stem cells from adult cells by gene insertion or protein induction can also be used. Thus, there is no longer a need to destroy human embryos for research purposes. Furthermore, these induced human stem cells have great potential for new therapies, whereas embryonic stem cell lines are unlikely to ever result in effective therapies due to histoincompatability between the donor cells and the recipient, and the high potential for tumor formation. Umbilical cord and adult stem cells already provide therapies for many diseases, whereas human embryonic stem cells have shown no benefit to date. Also, a basic premise of human research is to do no harm to the participant and to obtain proper consent from the participant. Obviously, the embryo is killed in the process of obtaining its stem cells and certainly would not consent to this if it had a choice. The killing of one human being for the benefit of another human being, or for reseach purposes, is immoral and unethical. With the better alternatives we now have for research and therapy, this moral dilema should no longer concern us.

 
4755 05/01/2009 at 05:14:41 PM Self     The use of embryonic stem cell research is a travesty, especially when embryos are treated as trash. I urge you to over-turn this policy of near abortion and for once, make a moral decision for the good of your country.

 
4756 05/01/2009 at 05:14:44 PM Self     I believe that it is wrong to use the cells for research , better to have the child grow and be adopted.. to those who can't have thier own ... a fertial egg is the begining of a soul that God made not man ...the Bible tells you that childern are a blessing of the Lord ...

 
4757 05/01/2009 at 05:15:10 PM Self     I urge you to NOT overturn the present policy regarding embryonic stem cells. It is evident from data collected that there is little or no promise of any benefit from embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, have proven very effective in fighting various diseases.

Let's stick to what we know is beneficial, and not take babies apart for the sake of research. Further, in view of the tax burden already forthcominhg, please do not use the overburdened taxpayer's dollars to spend on something he or she may strongly oppose on moral grounds.

 
4758 05/01/2009 at 05:15:22 PM Self     I oppose legislation that promotes Embryonic Stem Cell research. Encouragemnt and Money instead should be put forth for iPSC, and adult stem cell research; this is what we can trust to bring forth meaningful advancements and cures. The unrestained and unethical destruction of human life does not honor the intrinsic value of human life.

 
4759 05/01/2009 at 05:15:23 PM Self     It is my understanding that the NIH guidelines will provide my tax dollars to researchers who want to experiment on stem cells taken from human embryos that supposedly are "leftover" from in vitro fertilization. Instead of promoting the adoption of these human embryos, these draft guidelines would require their death. Given that it can not be proven that live does not start at conception, I believe it does. I would like to see the guidelines changed so that these children are not put to death.

 
4760 05/01/2009 at 05:15:32 PM Self     As a U.S. taxpayer, I have great interest in how the funds paid to our government are used. I respectfully submit my comments concerning the guidelines for human stem cell research. After reading these guidelines from the draft from the Department of Health, I was, once again, bothered by the disregard that our government has for human life. I say this because of the following quote in the guidelines: "using human embryonic cells that were derived from embryos created by in vitro fertilization for reproductive purposes and were no longer needed for that purpose". In my personal belief, we are sacrificing a life for the purposes of another when this takes place. "no longer needed" sounds like we are ending a life with the same attitude that we would throw away something old and worn. It is my understanding that an embryo is a fertilized egg that is already a life. All it needs is a safe place to grow into a person. It is my great concern that if we start doing things like this with embryos, what will stop us from, on down the line, saying that we don't need other types or kinds of people anymore. The door is swinging wide open for this kind of activity when we treat those that have no voice like they are "no longer needed".

 
4761 05/01/2009 at 05:15:45 PM Self     The proposed regulations create a financial incentive for the creation of more human embryos to be destroyed to obtain their embryonic stem cells.

Expanding funding to new human embryonic stem cell lines will divert federal funds away from promising research treating people now with adult stem cells and will divert funds away from other sources of embryonic-like stem cells that have been generated without the use of any human embryos.

Instead of preventing any future expansion of funding for ESCR on unethical experiments involving human clones and human-animal hybrids, these regulations open the door for such funding whenever NIH wants in the future.

I oppose killing human embryos. The proposed regulations will force taxpayers like me to fund research I believe is unethical because it requires the destruction of human embryos.

 
4762 05/01/2009 at 05:16:01 PM Self     To Whom it Concerns:

I am writing to urge you to support all non-embryonic forms of stem cell research. These are the only forms that have shown promise, and they are the only ethical and morally acceptable forms of stem cell research. The United States government should in no way endorse embryonic stem cell research, nor any other research that betrays human life or our human dignity. In particular, it is an ethical crime to use taxpayer money to fund or support endeavors which its constituents reject as a fundamental violation of their conscience; in effect, this is forcing persons to fund that which their philosophical or faith beliefs compel them to reject.

We must not willfully create and destroy human life in an effort to aid it. Use the money of the American people to promote ethical and successful stem cell research, namely that which does not involve the production or destruction of human lives, however small they may be.

Thank you for your time.

Respectfully,

 
4763 05/01/2009 at 05:16:06 PM Self     I am pleased to see that the draft guidelines include the ability of embryonic stem cells from embryos created for in vitro fertilization but not used to be utilized in stem cell research.

We are waiting desperately for an additional treatment and a cure, if possible, for Parkinson's disease especially and other such diseases for which embryonic stem cell research holds promise.

Thank you!

 
4764 05/01/2009 at 05:16:31 PM Self     I want it to be noted that I oppose the use of federal tax dollars, or as far as that goes, any dollars at all, to be used to destroy life by using living human being embryos for any purpose other than to adopt the embryo to be implanted into a woman human being, as in adoption. Life begins at conception, which was proven in a court of law the day after President Obama was elected into office by a woman college student in Colorado. The research to this point has been unfruitful. However, the use of adult stem cell research has shown results. To destroy a human being at any stage of life is murder. The following definitions are taken from the Webster's NewWorld Dictionary the second concise edition.

MURDER - the unlawful and malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another.

BEING - one that lives or exists, or is assumed to do so (a human being)

EXISTS - to have reality or actual being

Therefore to premeditate and take the action of killing a living human being embryo is murder. To kill human beings at any stage is WRONG.

Sincerely,

 
4765 05/01/2009 at 05:16:39 PM Self     I strongly disagree with the idea or consideration to Fund embryonic Human Stem cell research as ordered On March 9, 2009, President Barack H. Obama issued Executive Order 13505: Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells. The Executive Order states that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the Director of NIH, may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, to the extent permitted by law. This is a travesty that the American taxpayer should have to fund such cause.

 
4766 05/01/2009 at 05:16:48 PM Self     Please do not allow embryonic stem cell research. There has never been any documented success in this research,the cells only create tumors. However, adult stem cell research has had great success. I am one of those who has benefited from that research as I have Multiple Myeloma. I would urge you to put your efforts into something that has proven to be helpful to people and not into killing human embryos.

 
4767 05/01/2009 at 05:17:27 PM Self     I strongly oppose the killing of human embryos. The proposed regulations will force taxpayers like myself to fund research I believe is unethical because it requires the destruction of human embryos. Specifically, this expansion of funding to new human embryonic stem cell lines will divert federal funds away from promising research treating people now with adult stem cells. Also, this expansion of federal funding will divert funds away from other sources of embryonic-like stem cells that have been generated without the use of any human embryos. I strongly believe that these concerns need to be addressed in the official NIH Human Stem Cell Guidelines.

 
4768 05/01/2009 at 05:17:52 PM Self     Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I am a member of the Parkinson’s community and have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress.

I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made.

I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
4769 05/01/2009 at 05:18:30 PM Self     Embrionic stem cell research has not had sucessful results as has adult stem cell use. Furthermore it involves killing and introduces a big business of collecting the embrios. I am against it on these three counts.

 
4770 05/01/2009 at 05:19:18 PM Self     Please continue to use the successful adult stem cells for research and assistance to those with crippling diseases. Thank you.

 
4771 05/01/2009 at 05:19:41 PM Self     Using human ADULT stem cells has already been proven to work. Rather than pursuing human EMBRYONIC stem cell research, time would be better spent seeking more ADULT stem cell donors. Inform the public as to how to become a stem cell donor. Moral and religious issues aside, it makes sense to go with what is already proven to work. We believe the ban on funding of human EMBRYONIC stem cell research should REMAIN IN PLACE.

 
4772 05/01/2009 at 05:20:08 PM Self     Please consider using adult stem cells that have shown promise of physical benefit and do not use new baby cell that have no promise of benefit. The only thing we can accomplish is more abortions.

 
4773 05/01/2009 at 05:20:37 PM Self     I request that you direct funding for stem cell research toward adult stem cells where the results have been overwhelmingly positive and beneficial. To use taxpayer funds to pay for unseccessful embryonic is unethical - both financially and morally. As good scientists, surely you would want to focus on proven research. Thank you for this opportunity to comment. As a health professional, I have worked in bone marrow transplantation and know some of the benefits of adult stem cells. Please channel funding to this proven technology.

 
4774 05/01/2009 at 05:20:46 PM Self     I oppose killing human embryos. The proposed regulations will force taxpayers like me to fund research I believe is unethical because it requires the destruction of human embryos.

 
4775 05/01/2009 at 05:20:46 PM Self     Please do not go into the stem cell studies. There is enough of this going on now

 
4776 05/01/2009 at 05:21:23 PM Self     If I may, I prefer to reference the whole article. There is absolutely NO REASON to use human stem cells from embryos. For over three years now it has been known that adult human stem cells can and have been used in cases where there have been cures. This form of scientific research has been worked on and is being improved on a regular basis. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY CURE OR IMPROVEMENT OF ANY KIND USING EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS! There have also been stem cells used from umbilical cords after the birth of children. I have been a nurse for over 30 years having worked in various fields and though now retired I still have an interest in science. I learned about the advances using adult stem cells,and umbilical cord cells, and the non-advancement using embryonic stem cells through several different programs, two of which were news programs! Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this very important subject. I hope that this can be more fully investigated and that this controversy can be put to rest for good.

 
4777 05/01/2009 at 05:21:38 PM Self     I strongly oppose this legislation and any legislation that further supports embronic stem cell research. This is morally reprehensible and I resent tax dollars be used in this way.

 
4778 05/01/2009 at 05:21:49 PM Self     Please oppose this regulation ..thanks for your time

 
4779 05/01/2009 at 05:22:25 PM Self     Last week, April 23, NIH officially posted draft guidelines to open federal funding for research on human embryonic stem cells. These guidelines will send our tax dollars to experiment on stem cells taken from human embryos that supposedly are "leftover" from in vitro fertilization. Instead of promoting the adoption of these human embryos, these draft guidelines would require their death.

We are opposed to the destruction of human life at any stage of development. Our consciences and faith dictate that we should be protecting the most vulnerable and innocent in society, not murdering them. We do not want our tax dollars spent on this unnecessary and barbaric activity.

No scientific promise has been shown in this sort of destruction. In fact, alternatives to embryonic stem cell research, alternatives that do not require the destruction of life, have shown great promise.

There is no logical reason to pursue this path, and use of our tax dollars for this purpose is a violation of our rights as Americans.

 
4780 05/01/2009 at 05:22:25 PM Self     I oppose the use of fereral funds for research on human embryonic stem cells. There is success on the use of adult stem cells and none with embryonic. It is wrong to kill innocent babies for this purpose.

 
4781 05/01/2009 at 05:22:26 PM Self     I am opposed to using taxpayer money to destroy human embryos for research which has shown so little promise. Money could be much better spent on adult stem cell research with no ethical conflict.

 
4782 05/01/2009 at 05:22:36 PM Self     This is entirely against everything we believe about life. When such good research is coming out of other stem cell research why is this the way you are choosing to follow? We do NOT want our tax money ( coming from both our small business and our selves) spent in such a manner. We believe in the sanctity of life and this throws that aside into the gutter. Even family members who have Parkinson's do not agree with this. This is too high a cost to pay for a few more years of life, in my mother-in-law's eyes. Please reconsider - private funding is one thing but public funding is another. You have already trampled on our views in most other areas but this is too much!

 
4783 05/01/2009 at 05:22:49 PM Self     I am strongly opposed to the use of embryonic human stem cells for stem cell research, and the use of MY TAX DOLLARS to fund this research is a gross injustice. This practice will promote a whole new industry of embryo creation and destruction, including the creation of human embryos by cloning for research in which they are destroyed. This will force American taxpayers, including those who see the deliberate taking of human life in the embryonic stage as profoundly unjust, to be complicit in this practice. There are other options currently under development that would not require the taking of a life in its embryonic stage. Let us pursue these other options lest we be remembered in history as the nation that killed its own people.

 
4784 05/01/2009 at 05:23:47 PM Self     On March 9, 2009 President Barack Obama issued an executive order that overturned President Bush's policy and opened the floodgates for funding more embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) that creates an incentive to create and destroy human embryos. Last week, April 23, NIH officially posted draft guidelines to open federal funding for research on human embryonic stem cells. I oppose these regulations and I oppose the use of federal funds for research on human embryonic stem cells.

 
4785 05/01/2009 at 05:23:50 PM Self     We are strongly opposed to the use of embryonic stem cells for any research purpose for the prevention of disease or otherwise. We do approve of the use of skin cells.

 
4786 05/01/2009 at 05:24:01 PM Self     As adopting parents, we know that embryos "left over" from in vitro fertilization are in fact little babies just waiting to be born. Embryo adoption is an amazing way to give life to the frozen embryos! We implore you to oppose these draft regulations that would allow for these embryos to be sold to science! Thank you from all the waiting to be brought to life embryos!!!!!!!!!

 
4787 05/01/2009 at 05:24:13 PM Self     We OPPOSE being forced to have our taxpayer funds used in order to support embryonic stem cell research or the use of embryone stem cells in any way.

It has been amply shown that adult stem cells are much more effective in treating medical problems than embryonic stem cells, and there is no moral or ethical problem associated with the use of adult stem cells, as opposed to using embryonic stem cells, which involve destroying human beings.

 
4788 05/01/2009 at 05:24:20 PM Self     The exectutive order by President Obama, overturning G.W. Bush's resriction on stem cell research will open the flood gates of the killing of the unborn. This coupled with the murder of 1,000,000 children per year is placing this country in the ranks of the most despicable murderous governments in history.

It is no coincidence that the emergence of uthanasia and sexual perversion also comes from this moral cesspool we have created.

Any country endorsing this moral bankruptcy cannot survive.

 
4789 05/01/2009 at 05:24:46 PM Self     please do not alow federal funds for research on human embryonic stem cells

 
4790 05/01/2009 at 05:24:50 PM Self     NIH funding of the derivation of stem cells from human embryos is prohibited by the annual appropriations ban on funding of human embryo research (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. 110-161, 3/11/09), otherwise known as the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. There were good reasons for doing this and to once again allow it would be an assault to our conscience, as a people who would prefer to honor and protect life rather than destroy it. My understanding of the research that has been going on is that there has been much success with adult stem cells and very little with embryonic cells. Also I understand that in the private sector, this type of research is already going on. As it is our tax money that would fund this type of research and my conscience screams against it, I would object to using taxpayer funds to kill viable embryo for the sake of research. In this time of economic distress, why would the government want to add this to the list of items they need to pay for? Please consider these things in spite of Pres Obama's directive.

 
4791 05/01/2009 at 05:24:53 PM Self     I am not a scientist, but I have been following the progress in issues regarding stem cell research because I watched my Uncle deteriorate every year for years and eventually pass away due to parkinsons. I also had a dear friend from Missouri who passed away at the young age of 55 due to parkinsons.

Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress.

I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made.

I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research are and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
4792 05/01/2009 at 05:25:02 PM Self     Why use embryonic stem cells when these are not the best means for helping those with spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's, and other such difficulties? Please rethink this.

 
4793 05/01/2009 at 05:25:16 PM       I strongly object to the proposed``National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research'' in regard to using human embryonic stem cells that were derived from embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for reproductive purposes and were no longer needed for that purpose. I object to any and all research on embryonic stem cells. First, I object on moral/ethical grounds since I consider that human personhood begins at conception. Secondly, and of less importance, to my knowledge there has not been found success in the use of human embryonic stem cells in the treatment and cure of disease. On the other hand, while I have no objection to research using adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells since these have been found respectively to be successful and showing promise, I DO NOT want the research to be funded by the Federal Government. The private sector can adequately and should be the one to handle this matter.

 
4794 05/01/2009 at 05:25:41 PM Self     I am opposed to the destruction of embryonic life for the purposes of stem cell research. I am certainly opposed to my tax money being used in this way.

 
4795 05/01/2009 at 05:26:55 PM Self     I strongly object to using federal money for embryonic stem cell projects Period! It's time the government gets out of medaling with anything, and start getting serious about the main duty of the government, and that is protecting the people from enemies foreign, and domestic. That means preserving the constitution, and securing our borders. No more waste, which the majority of the people do object to.

 
4796 05/01/2009 at 05:27:36 PM Self     This, foremost, against God's Law. We're taking life and messing with it. No good has come of it yet while lots of gains are being made with stem cell research from parts of the body. Makes no sense to me. Thanks

 



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