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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47916 05/26/2009 at 08:24:41 PM Self     I do not have the time to write out a lengthy comment, just hearing about this today, so close to the deadline. I did want to quickly say that tax money should not be used for this purpose. Embryonic stem cell research is very controversial. Many people would be forced to pay for sonething that was against their beliefs. Such controversial reseach should be paid for by those wishing to support it, not the general public.

 
47917 05/26/2009 at 08:24:42 PM Self     I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that do not destroy human life and are already proven successful. There is no case under which government support should be extended to human cloning or the creation of human embryos for research purposes. -Embryo-destructive stem cell research has shown to be ineffective and even dangerous, forming uncontrollable tumors and causing rejection problems. Adult stem cells are non-controversial, ethical, and most importantly, effective in treating patients. We should not fund controversial research that destroys human life when we have other options that do not destroy human life. -The proposed regulations do not prevent future funding for embryonic stem cell research that could lead to the creation of clones and human-animal hybrids. This loophole must be closed immediately.

 
47918 05/26/2009 at 08:25:10 PM Self     I applaud these guidelines that establish a framework for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Please ensure that the final draft includes language stating that stem cell lines derived using the prevailing ethical standards at the time they were derived are eligible for federal funding. Also, please include language stating that stem cell lines derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer will be eligible for federal funding. Clear and well-crafted guidelines will lead to sooner therapies and cures for millions of deserving patients. Thank you

 
47919 05/26/2009 at 08:25:14 PM Self     When I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, I was told not to worry...there would surely be a cure in five to 10 years. That was in 1994, 15 years ago.

Of course, my condition has steadily worsened; and embroyonic stem cell therapy holds great promise for the approximately 1 million Americans and countless other millions of people worldwide with Parkinson's.

Tragically, we've already lost eight years' time in the development of ethical, safe and effective therapies with embryonic stem cell.

***** *****

I'm pleased that the 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.

 
47920 05/26/2009 at 08:25:35 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47921 05/26/2009 at 08:25:55 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47922 05/26/2009 at 08:26:11 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

 
47923 05/26/2009 at 08:26:49 PM Self     To whom it may concern:

President Obama’s Executive Order 13505 represents a tremendous opportunity for the NIH to support ethically responsible and scientifically worthy stem cell research. However, I am worried that the NIH proposal will exclude funding for many existing ethically created stem cell lines, create systemic redundancies that will waste scarce resources without added value, and unduly delay important scientific research. I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Draft Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research and urge you to take the following into consideration before finalizing federal rules:

1. HONOR EXISTING REGULATIONS AND GUIDELINES Informed consent and independent regulatory oversight by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) represent the international standard used to measure the protection of tissue donors and research subjects. The NIH Guidelines should use the same standards when judging the acceptability of funding work on human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines derived from donated embryos rather than retroactively imposing new requirements based on ethical principles that are fully encompassed by existing federal regulations.

The federal regulations for the protection of human subjects at 45 CFR 46 are the gold standard for the protection of human research subjects, specifically, the informed consent and independent regulatory oversight of research tissue donors. The same standards should be used to judge the acceptability of funding research with cell lines derived from donated embryos, including the required elements of informed consent at 45 CFR 46.116 and 117. Most established hESC lines widely used in research today were created from embryos that were obtained in accordance with existing federal regulations and are consistent with the core principles outlined by The Belmont Report, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) regulations and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Guidelines for the Conduct of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research. Additionally, many of the hESC lines have to date been eligible for federal support and under the new rules such support will cease, making the proposed Guidelines more restrictive than those of the previous administration.

The established hESC lines serve as the scientific standard and were created in compliance with the existing regulations and guidelines requiring independent oversight, voluntary and informed donor consent and no undue inducements. To ensure continued scientific success and international collaborations, the principles and regulations used to ensure the ethical donation of human tissue should be applied to the evaluation of existing lines rather than creating new requirements that would be applied retroactively.

2. EXISTING SELF-REGULATORY PROCESS The NIH guidelines should support the strong existing federal regulatory framework provided by 45 CFR 46, rather than setting new and unique requirements for hESC research. The new guidelines should acknowledge that most existing domestic lines were derived in accordance with the core principles in the CIRM regulations and the ISSCR guidelines, and are consistent with the established federal regulatory framework involving the protection of human subjects (donors) through IRB oversight and approval. The federal human research regulations support ethically responsible and scientifically worthy research by: o Requiring independent oversight by IRBs and the international equivalent that have extensive experience reviewing informed consent in the context of human tissue research; o Ensuring a process for voluntary informed consent including the review of consent procedures performed domestically and internationally; o Requiring no undue inducements to donors.

In some instances, oversight bodies called Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (ESCRO) committee, as recommended by the National Academy of Science (NAS) and required by CIRM, as well as other oversight methods in other countries, provide oversight of human pluripotent stem cell research. Established policies demonstrate that the self-regulatory structure provides a sound ethical foundation for stem cell research. In developing the final Guidelines, the NIH should consider this well-established framework of independent oversight and give weight to its determinations.

3. PROVENANCE BASED ON PREVAILING STANDARDS OF THE TIME The determination of the ethical and legal provenance of hESC lines should be based on the investigator’s documentation of IRB approval for the obtaining of the original tissue used for the derivation of the line. The IRB approval would be based on the usual determination that the embryos were collected in an ethically appropriate manner consistent with existing federal standards for informed consent.

For the purpose of determining eligibility for federal funding, the ethical provenance of existing domestic cell lines should be judged based on the standards that prevailed at the time they were derived, provided the protocol under which donations were accepted, and any amendments, were approved by an IRB operating under applicable federal regulations. Many existing hESC lines, whether ineligible or eligible for federal funding during the Bush Administration, were derived from embryos donated by couples who were fully informed of their options and of the purposes of the research, and whose donations were overseen by an IRB. Nevertheless, many of those very same hESC lines will not be eligible for federal research support solely because the IRB approved consent forms donors signed do not comply with the specific new requirements promulgated in the draft Guidelines. As a result, there is serious risk that these lines, some of which are currently the gold standard for hESC research and that receive federal support, will be ruled ineligible for use in NIH-funded research under the proposed Guidelines.

The same risk applies to lines developed pursuant to the laws and regulations of various states and foreign countries, even if their requirements are substantially equivalent to those in the US. Non-US lines should be eligible for federal funding if the IRB and/or ESCRO for the US institution receiving NIH funding determines that the protocol under which the underlying donation occurred met operative standards of the time and core ethical principles.

In addition, new requirements that go beyond established US and international practice should only be applied prospectively and after a period for affected parties, including IVF clinics, to adapt. The NIH should reconsider those aspects of the proposed guidelines that go beyond existing IRB, CIRM, NAS, and ISSCR standards, including, for example, the proposed mandatory dual IVF consent the proposed guidelines would require, and the establishment of the informed consent document as the sole source for ethical validation of the informed consent process. Such a standard is a new requirement not previously contemplated by CIRM rules, NAS or ISSCR guidelines and is not required by the federal regulations for the protection of human subjects in domestic or international research.

4. FEDERAL hESC REGISTRY A central NIH registry should serve as a single point for verification of hESC lines eligible for federal funding. Such a registry will provide certainty to all parties that the identified lines were derived according to ethical and legal standards. The evaluation of hESC provenance represents a major resource commitment for oversight committees. It is common for multiple institutions to evaluate the provenance of the same lines resulting in the use of scarce resources in a duplication of a labor intensive effort. The NIH should support a more efficient use of scarce resources, reduction in errors, and ensure consistency and certainty of investigators and compliance committees, by supporting initiatives designed to establish and share the provenance of existing and to be created hESC lines. I, therefore, urge the NIH to work with organizations such as the CIRM and ISSCR to develop a list or registry of hESC lines available for NIH-funding or resources to support the oversight process. The CIRM, for example, has a registry mechanism to document that hESC derivation was performed in accordance with ethical requirements and make associated documentation available to reviewing IRBs and stem cell oversight bodies. Ultimately, such a registry will reduce uncertainty, redundancy of review, and improve research efficiency. While that registry is being established, it would be useful for the NIH to publish, on a Web site, the lines that are determined to be eligible for federal funding based on IRB and ESCRO determinations. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft Guidelines.

 
47924 05/26/2009 at 08:28:48 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47925 05/26/2009 at 08:28:55 PM Self     I have a chronic csf leak for over 6 years which has very adversely affected my health. I am in favor of al stem cell research in the context of tissue repair especially

 
47926 05/26/2009 at 08:28:57 PM Self     The most telling problem with the Draft NIH Human Stem Cell Guidelines is what doesn't appear in the text. In the Supplementary Information a list of possible uses for human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), from research (e.g., "Studies...may yield information about the complex events that occur during human development") to an entire paragraph devoted to the listing of possible diseases that may be treated. While heESCs may be used for those roles, the discussion of their utility with no reference to their status as human cells sets a bad precedent and undermines the value of the guidelines.

If the hESCs in themselves are truly morally unproblematic, and if they are as useful as the Supplementary Information says, why is it important that they be harvested from unused embryos that were conceived for reproductive purposes (Guideline Section II.B)? Unless there is some dignity to human embryoes, why not permit individuals to donate embryos specifically for research?

Likewise, why is it so vital that these cells not be introduced into non-human primate blastocysts or animal germ lines (Guideline Section III)? The Guidelines hint that these cells have a special status, but in the Supplementary Information, they are merely described as being very useful. If their utility in research is so great, why set these limits to how they can be used, unless there is some dignity or status peculiar to the status of hESCs?

These guideliness may serve to ease the consciences of some, but in ignoring questions of human dignity and identity in favor of lists of how these cells derived may benefit the public, there is no reason why the guidelines here not may be relaxed even further. The NIH needs to be clear in its moral reasoning if it is to effectively safeguard human subjects.

 
47927 05/26/2009 at 08:29:12 PM Self     To all it may concern, I would like to add my voice to those concerned with several proposed guidelines pertaining to the use of embryonic stem cells. I was a scientist at Geron during the initial development of human embryonic stem cells and have remained active with several private companies involved in pre-clinical studies of human stem cells. Clearly for better or worse, the initial stem cell lines included in the Bush administration's decision to limit federal funds have become the foundation from which many important pre-clincial advances have been made. Moreover, the first approved IND for the use of human ES-derived cells in a clinical trial were developed from one of these approved lines. To now restrict these lines from consideration for future federal funding would do a significant disservice to many groups that have spent close to a decade developing needed applications and technologies from these cells. Furthermore, many important advances have been made by private companies that have developed ES lines by nuclear transer, or by parthenogenesis of oocytes. These lines can continue to be produced and studied in an ethical manner and restricting these procedures would unnecessarily prevent studies that may prove critical to therapapeutic advances. Let's ensure that the new policies are a thoughtful advance for these new technologies and do not burden researchers with restrictions that are based on capricious mandates.

 
47928 05/26/2009 at 08:29:33 PM Self     I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that harm no one and are already producing good results. In no case should government support be extended to human cloning or the human embryos for research purposes.

 
47929 05/26/2009 at 08:29:37 PM Self     Applying rules retroactively would crush much of the current funding opportunities for stem cell lines that have already been approved, but have not documented following the new criteria. This is troublesome at best, crippling at worst, depending on individual lab use. It is my hope that retroactive regulations do not cripple already-promising research using these lines.

 
47930 05/26/2009 at 08:30:14 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47931 05/26/2009 at 08:30:14 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47932 05/26/2009 at 08:30:28 PM Self     Stem cell research holds much promise in the search for a cure and better treatments for the nearly 24 million American adults and children with diabetes, as well as those with many other serious medical conditions.

This research will allow scientists an opportunity to better explore how to control and direct stem cells so they can grow insulin-producing beta cells found in the pancreas. Creating new beta cells could mean a cure for type 1 diabetes and could provide a powerful tool for controlling type 2 diabetes.

I strongly support the draft guidelines on embryonic stem cell research. They demonstrate the ability of NIH to create a research framework that will allow for the potential of embryonic stem cell research while maintaining the highest safety and ethical standards.

As this process moves forward, however, I hope that NIH will consider adapting the guidelines to ensure they include funding not only new stem cell lines, but current stem cell lines that have been developed using prevailing ethical practices. Research on these current stem cell lines should be eligible for federal funding as part of the final rule.

Given the enormous promise of stem cells for diseases such as diabetes, it is important to allow federal funding for all forms of stem cell research, including research on embryonic stem cells, and that NIH continue to adapt as our scientists learn more about the promise of stem cell research.

I commend NIH for taking this important action to support research that provides the potential for new treatments, and ultimately a cure, for diabetes.

 
47933 05/26/2009 at 08:31:18 PM Self     I am opposed to President Barack Obama's executive order that will allow virtually unrestricted federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, which in turn will create incentives for scientists to create new human embryos specifically to destroy them for research. It would appear that this new proposed policy would likely divert funding away from more promising (and ethical) adult stem cell research, and I pray that there will be stepped up efforts to find alternative methods.

 
47934 05/26/2009 at 08:32:07 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.

 
47935 05/26/2009 at 08:32:08 PM Self     I would like to state that I do not wish my tax dollars used for embryonic stem cell research. We would be creating babies (embryos) only to destroy them in the name of research. We would be diverting funding from adult stem cell research which is a more promising area for research. President Bush set a policy 2001 that restricted federal funding only to stem cell lines that existed as of that date – thus discouraging “create and kill” behavior. I feel very stongly that policy is ethically more promising than killing babies in the name of science.

 
47936 05/26/2009 at 08:32:13 PM Self     Please respect life and do NOT use unborn children at any stage of development for research.

 
47937 05/26/2009 at 08:32:15 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 (indirectly since my sister has fairly advanced PD)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. It is an absolutely terrible disease. 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.

 
47938 05/26/2009 at 08:32:57 PM Self     -I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that do not destroy human life and are already proven successful. There is no case under which government support should be extended to human cloning or the creation of human embryos for research purposes.

-Embryo-destructive stem cell research has shown to be ineffective and even dangerous, forming uncontrollable tumors and causing rejection problems. Adult stem cells are non-controversial, ethical, and most importantly, effective in treating patients. We should not fund controversial research that destroys human life when we have other options that do not destroy human life.

-The proposed regulations do not prevent future funding for embryonic stem cell research that could lead to the creation of clones and human

 
47939 05/26/2009 at 08:33:06 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47940 05/26/2009 at 08:33:29 PM Self     The new NIH guidelines are poor science and poor health care policy, and would divert dollars away from real treatments. Any federal dollar used for embryonic stem cell experimentation is a dollar not used for adult stem cells. This will delay adult stem cell treatments and cures. This new policy puts the health of Americans in danger. We need to put the patients first, and put federal funds toward the real treatments and real promise of adult stem cells.

 
47941 05/26/2009 at 08:33:44 PM Self     There have been no successful treatments for humans or animals using embryonic stem cells from any source, and it has been perfectly legal for private industry in the U.S.,and in other countries for years to use embryonic stem cells for research, so it would seem to be waste of funds to begin research on them now. As NIH already knows, human stem cell research using adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells can and has already successfully treated over 70 different diseases and genetic problems in human beings here and all over the world. Since so many people are vehemently opposed to sacrificing human embryos of any age for experimentation and destruction with such a tiny chance of future success probably decades away, why do it? Induced pluripotent stem cells can do exactly the same thing with no ethical ramifications. Such a breakthrough makes embryonic stem cell research a moot point, and more of a political and agenda driven practice, than scientific practice. Science does need to address the ethical boundries of any experimentation and research on human beings with people of good will who are experts in bioethics, history, and philosophy, and even religious convictions from various sources, and not through politicians. Just because it it legal, does not make it right or ethical. There were experiments on human beings in Birmingham in the 20th century that were done because it was legal and those individuals were considered "less than human". Let us not repeat that horror on the youngest and most defenseless of our species, especially when it is no longer even needed.

 
47942 05/26/2009 at 08:33:56 PM Self     I write to express my opposition to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that do not destroy human life and are already proven successful. There is no case under which government support should be extended to human cloning or the creation of human embryos for research purposes.

Embryo-destructive stem cell research has shown to be ineffective and even dangerous, forming uncontrollable tumors and causing rejection problems. Adult stem cells are non-controversial, ethical, and most importantly, effective in treating patients. We should not fund controversial research that destroys human life when we have other options that do not destroy human life.

The proposed regulations do not prevent future funding for embryonic stem cell research that could lead to the creation of clones and human-animal hybrids. This loophole must be closed immediately.

 
47943 05/26/2009 at 08:34:46 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47944 05/26/2009 at 08:35:14 PM Self     As a Christian who respects all human life even in it's most simple form, I am opposed to your draft guidelines for Embryonic stem cell research which in fact destroys an innocent human life in it's most vulnerable state. Focus rather on adult stem cell research and on approaches to treatment and cures that harm NO ONE and are demonstrating even now effective results. To alter natural selection and the evelutionary process is unethical and a slippery slope to the decline and destruction of all creation. I strongly oppose research involving human cloning and/or human embrios.

 
47945 05/26/2009 at 08:36:20 PM Self     I am totally against changing the regulations that President Bush put in place. I don't think it is wise to allow unrestricted funds toward President Obama's proposal. I think it is unethical to create to destroy. I don't want to go into a long speech against this, I just want my VOICE heard.

 
47946 05/26/2009 at 08:36:21 PM Self     Killing human embryos is not right. Please, please, please reconsider the human life you're destroying! The proposed regulations will force taxpayers like me to fund research I believe is unethical because it requires the destruction of human embryos.

 
47947 05/26/2009 at 08:36:36 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47948 05/26/2009 at 08:36:43 PM Self     Dear Sir or Madam:

I am an MD-PhD student at Harvard Medical School. I write to comment on the proposed NIH guidelines governing human embryonic stem cell research.

The current hESC funding landscape is curious indeed. The Dickey-Wicker amendment prohibits funding the destruction of human embryos, yet the NIH now proposes to fund research that uses cells produced by that unfundable destruction. This makes little sense. A consistent policy would be to fund both activities or to fund neither.

Which policy should we pursue? The answer to that question rests on both the facts of the situation and the moral principles that we should follow. The facts are three. (1) Human life begins at conception. That is a scientific fact about when a new member of the species Homo sapiens comes into being, not a moral claim about the rights of that member. (2) The derivation of stem cells from a human embryo involves the destruction of that embryo. (3) Therefore, such derivation involves the intentional taking of innocent human life.

Two moral principles are then relevant. (1) The taking intentional taking of innocent human life—i.e., murder—is intrinsically and gravely immoral. This claim contrasts with the position taken in the Supplementary Information attached to the draft regulations, which specifies that donor IVF embryos must be “no longer needed for that purpose.” Yet which is more worth of a just society: the view that all people are created equal, regardless of race or disability or status of development or any other characteristic; or the view that people are valuable only when they are wanted by others? A society that operates on the latter principle is not one in which I wish to live. (2) The second relevant principle is that ends do not justify means. Even if great good were promised by embryo-destructive research and only by such research—a point that is contested—it would not be morally licit. Once again, a society that is willing to commit evil in order to achieve good would be an unjust and frightening society indeed.

From the forgoing, I conclude that the current policy of not funding the destruction of human embryos is correct. The next conclusion follows from it: we also must not fund the use of stem cells derived from that objectionable action. Why not? For just the same reason that it is wrong to receive property stolen by another. One cannot condemn an act and then make use of its ill-gotten gains. Moreover, hESC research such as the NIH proposes to fund will, by creating a demand for more hESC lines, contribute to the destruction of more embryos.

Two final points are relevant.

First, this NIH policy proposes to use taxpayer money to fund such research. If approved, individuals who hold moral objections such as those outlined above would nonetheless forced to support—by means of their tax money—research that goes against their moral convictions. This is yet more morally problematic than merely permitting such research to take place. Out of respect for the conscience of a millions of Americans, it is inappropriate for the NIH to use their tax money to fund research they consider immoral.

Second, ethically acceptable alternatives to hESC research are available. Induced pluripotent stem cells appear to offer many of the properties and benefits of hESCs. And, of course, in important ways, they are superior: they are immunologically matched to the patient from whom they were derived, they can be created much more efficiently than hESCs, and their creation and use are ethically unproblematic.

In light of the unethical nature of embryo-destructive research, the unethical nature of the use of cell lines thus derived, and the availability of scientifically sound alternatives, it is inappropriate and unnecessary for the NIH to use taxpayer’s money to fund such research. While many who pursue such research have good intentions at heart, it is important to take a clear stand on the fundamental ethical principles that govern our research advances.

I thank you for your consideration of these comments.

 
47949 05/26/2009 at 08:37:10 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47950 05/26/2009 at 08:38:10 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.

 
47951 05/26/2009 at 08:38:22 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47952 05/26/2009 at 08:38:45 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47953 05/26/2009 at 08:39:49 PM Self     Absolutely wrong and immoral. There is far better research being done on adult stem cells. There is no need to destroy the potential for human life.

 
47954 05/26/2009 at 08:40:06 PM Self     I do not believe that embryonic stem cell research is ethical. Furthermore, I know that it has never shown itself to be helpful, while adult stem cell therapy has had success!

 
47955 05/26/2009 at 08:40:07 PM Self    

I am writing to voice my opinion against embryonic stem cell experiments. On March 9, 2009 President Obama issued an executive order that opened the floodgates for funding more human embryonic stem cell experiments. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has drafted guidelines for distributing these funds. These guidelines devote my tax dollars to experiments with embryonic stem cells, from destroyed human embryos. But the only successful treatments and cures come from adult stem cells, taken from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, fat tissue, and other body tissues. Thousands of patients have had their health improved and their lives saved with adult stem cells. Dozens of diseases and injuries including cancer, juvenile diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease have already been treated using adult stem cells, and more treatments are being developed. The mass murder of human embryos is completely unnecessary. It is wrong.

The new NIH guidelines are poor science and poor health care policy, and would divert dollars away from real treatments. Any federal dollar used for embryonic stem cell experimentation is a dollar not used for adult stem cells. This will delay adult stem cell treatments and cures. This new policy puts the health of Americans in danger. We need to put the patients first, and put federal funds toward the real treatments and real promise of adult stem cells.

 
47956 05/26/2009 at 08:40:33 PM Self     Stem cell research holds much promise in the search for a cure and better treatments for the nearly 24 million American adults and children with diabetes, as well as those with many other serious medical conditions. This research will allow scientists an opportunity to better explore how to control and direct stem cells so they can grow insulin-producing beta cells found in the pancreas. Creating new beta cells could mean a cure for type 1 diabetes (that I have been challenged to have for the past 20 years), and could provide a powerful tool for controlling type 2 diabetes that is so widespread here in the southwestern United States. I strongly support the draft guidelines on embryonic stem cell research. They demonstrate the ability of NIH to dreate a research framework that will allow for the potential of embryonic stem cell research while maintanining the highest safety and ethical standards. I hope the NIH will consider adapting the guidelines to ensure they include funding not only new stem cell lines, but current stem cell lines that have been developed using prevailing ethical practices. I commend NIH for taking this important action to support research that provides the potential for new treatments, and ultimately a cure, for diabetes.

 
47957 05/26/2009 at 08:40:55 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47958 05/26/2009 at 08:41:37 PM Self     -I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that do not destroy human life and are already proven successful. There is no case under which government support should be extended to human cloning or the creation of human embryos for research purposes.

-Embryo-destructive stem cell research has shown to be ineffective and even dangerous, forming uncontrollable tumors and causing rejection problems. Adult stem cells are non-controversial, ethical, and most importantly, effective in treating patients. We should not fund controversial research that destroys human life when we have other options that do not destroy human life.

-The proposed regulations do not prevent future funding for embryonic stem cell research that could lead to the creation of clones and human-animal hybrids. This loophole must be closed immediately. "

 
47959 05/26/2009 at 08:41:56 PM Self     I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that harm no one and are already producing good results. In no case should government support be extended to human cloning or other morally reprehensible creation of human embryos for research purposes.

 
47960 05/26/2009 at 08:42:31 PM Self     Please use this submittal. I submitted comments a few hours ago, but did not know that all the bold and underlining would be removed.

I am a scientist, trained in science with advanced degrees. Unfortunately Congress is being sold a bill of goods by scientists who want money for funding. Some scientists can be very impartial and weigh evidence fairly, even regarding the merit of their own research. But other scientists can be very effective at persuading people that their research is critical and is much more promising than it really is.

There is no doubt that stem cells in our bodies work wonders. They repair damaged organs. They rebuild vital tissues and muscles. And they have already changed people?s lives. They?ve helped people with severe spinal cord injuries to walk again. They?ve helped children avoid a life of pain from sickle-cell anemia. And stem cells are showing further promise in treating a host of diseases like Parkinson?s, diabetes and heart disease. But these are not embryonic stem sells. They are adult stem cells (obtained without any controversial ethical issues). Some insist miracle cures will come only from embryonic stem cells. Yet two decades of embryonic stem cell research have not produced a single cure in any animal or helped a single person. Embryonic stem cells tend to be genetically unstable and can form lethal tumors. And they come with the hefty price tag of ethical questions that some are deeply opposed to. Embryonic stem cells have been hyped. But it?s the adult stem cells that are showing hope. So where is the future? Please look deep inside; the answer can be clear. But perhaps only if some of the bias from the misinformation can be removed or at least reduced.

Briefly, the main issue is simple. When there is a medical issue that divides our country so strongly (even if not equally) such as EMBRYONIC stem cell research, why should the government not be sensitive to those with strong moral objections when they are so many who are concerned and the following situation exists? After decades of research, embryonic stem cell therapy has been notably ineffective, has not helped a single person or cured a single animal. When embryonic stem cell therapy has been used, tumors or other unwanted effects have killed the patient. Adult stem cell therapies have found significant success for multiple diseases. Why should those who are strongly opposed have to pay for what they think is immoral if there is an alternative that works so much better? Clearly a society must (or at least should) find a way to compromise when there is disagreement about significant moral issues. Why can?t the compromise position be that the alleged immoral action is legal, but not funded by taxpayer money? If EMBRYONIC stem cell research has been so ineffective, then why should our government spend its money (our money) on research that is so much less promising in the light of decades of research as recognized by the majority in the scientific community (and is morally offensive to many Christians and other religious citizens)? If the private sector wishes to spend/waste its money in this direction, then it can be allowed, if it so desires (although this is morally offensive to many Christians). But let our public money not be spent on such highly speculative endeavors that are extremely controversial. Let it be spent in a way that weighs the likelihood of success (which is so strongly in the direction of using adult stem cells).

If this argument is not convincing enough, then please consider the following.

The Guidelines state that their purpose is: 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. (Summary, Paragraph 2) These Guidelines do not accomplish these purposes. Specifically, they do not promote ethically responsible and scientifically worthy research.

Scientifically worthy? EMBRYONIC stem cell therapy is known to cause tumors and tissue rejection. Recent advances have obviated the need for destroying human embryos in order to obtain pluripotent stem cells. Scientists have demonstrated that they can reprogram ordinary human skin cells into pluripotent stems cells which have the same properties as the EMBRYONIC. These cells have the added advantage that they can be obtained from the patient himself, obviating the immune rejection that occurs with human embryonic stem cells.

Ethically responsible? Who determines what is ethically responsible? Are there ethical principles or definitions that most people can agree to? Is truth determined by a vote? Although truth is not determined by a vote, we may have no other method to proceed in a democracy. But ethically, even if there is a slight majority opinion that a particular action is OK, should it be done if there is another action that accomplishes the same purpose much better and is not ethically questioned by a vast number in our society? This is the situation with the issue of the USE of EMBRYONIC stem cells in research. The issue is not just the killing of embryos that is morally offensive to many Christians; it is the USE of EMBRYONIC stem cells, since they can only come from the killing of embryos. On these grounds it is unethical to force a large portion of our society to pay for something that is morally offensive to their beliefs (the USE of EMBRYONIC stem cells) when a better method could be funded with great medical benefit to all in our society. Thus, the Guidelines are not ethically responsible and scientifically worthwhile.

Additional concerns: There are elements of the guidelines that try (and fail) to address the moral concerns of the controversy that surround these issues. Some examples: The Guidelines state that they will limit funding for research using ?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.? (Supplementary Information, Paragraph 2, under page 18579) The Guidelines are written to appear to outline ethically responsible research, but to those who are ethically opposed to USING EMBRYONIC stem cells for research, this is only an appearance of a compromise. The authors of the guidelines do not seem to comprehend the objections to this research. Specifically, the Guidelines state: ?Although human embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos, such stem cells are not themselves human embryos.? (I. Scope of Guidelines, Paragraph 2) Once the stem cells are extracted from the embryo?s inner cell mass, each one of these cells is not the whole embryo; however, the human embryo must be destroyed to obtain these stem cells. I recognize that taxpayer dollars will not be used to destroy the embryo, but to do research on the cells obtained from that destruction. But this distinction in the Guidelines does not address the ethical issues to which many Christians are greatly opposed. Even though the proposal in the Guidelines may not represent the worst possible scenario, it is still highly objectionable and highly offensive because the USE of EMBRYONIC stem cells for research is held to be morally wrong by many Christians and others who value the dignity of human life in all its stages.

The Guidelines also provide criteria for the donation of the embryos destroyed to obtain embryonic stems cells, e.g.: ?II. B. 2. No inducements were offered for the donation.? However, II B. 6. of the Guidelines do not definitively prohibit the researcher from being the same person as the reproductive-care physician thus creating the likelihood of subtle inducements: ?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 [emphasis added], 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.? The potential for subtle inducements is great and necessitates a complete separation of the roles of researcher and reproductive-care provider. The Guidelines actually could establish incentives for the engendering of an untold number of new human embryos for the sole purpose of destroying them, due to the lack of a strict and enforceable mandate concerning the separation between the roles of the researcher and the reproductive-care provider.

The Guidelines - on the positive side:

I support the prohibitions in the Guidelines against: III.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. III.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.

However, additional prohibitions need to be provided against the development of stem cell lines from animal/human hybrids.

Conclusion

The Guidelines are inherently unethical because they attempt to implement an executive order that is inherently unethical. This executive order lifts restrictions on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell [pluripotent] research when it has been announced in the press that scientists can now make induced pluripotent [flexible] stem cells without destroying embryos. It is unethical to violate the consciences of so many Americans when it is not necessary since the order to spend public monies to fund research that ultimately will destroy embryos is less promising and diverts funds that could be used for adult stem cell research that is proving to be much more successful and ethical.

The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47961 05/26/2009 at 08:42:50 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47962 05/26/2009 at 08:44:17 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.

 
47963 05/26/2009 at 08:44:52 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47964 05/26/2009 at 08:46:30 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47965 05/26/2009 at 08:46:38 PM Self     Dear NIH,

Thank you for considering my input.

As a lifelong diabetic, I ask you to reject embryonic stem cell research. After all, as stem cell scientist and medical doctor James Sherley of Boston says, all scientists know when life begins. In other words, scientists know that human embryos should never be killed.

Furthermore, despite decades of experiments, ESCR and iPS cells have produced nothing but tumors; whereas adult and cord blood stem cells are used successfully to treat needy patients with cancer, spinal injuries, heart disease, diabetes, MS and lupus, to name just a few diseases.

NIH knows the success rate of ASCR. Some examples are evident in Dr. Richard Burt's work at Northwestern University, Chicago.

The whole world can benefit from Dr. Burt's work, Dr. Sherley's and that of other scientists who do no harm. Please continue funding or conducting such promising efforts.

Even if you intend to persist with iPS cells, there is no need to kill embryonic persons given the skin cell technologies developed by Drs. Shinya Yamanaka and James Thomson.

Again, thanks for your consideration.

 
47966 05/26/2009 at 08:47:03 PM Self     I am opposed to the draft proposals regarding human embryonic stem cell research. This is immoral and also non-productive. Money would better be spent on adult stem cell research.

 
47967 05/26/2009 at 08:47:30 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47968 05/26/2009 at 08:47:38 PM Self     I am opposed to the use of Federal tax payers money being used for the destruction of human embryonic stem cells. Please consider the following information and refrain from using my tax dollars for the destruction of human life. "The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter - the beginning is conception." Dr. Watson A. Bowes, University of Colorado Medical School It is obvious that the current experimentation and research using human embryonic stem cells results in the destruction of a newly developing human being. The research and experimentation necessarily and in premeditated fashion causes the death of a new human life. What is the justification at law for taking human life? Usually, a human life can only be taken when done in self-defense and when there is no other reasonable option. Taking the lives of these new embryonic human lives can hardly be justified as a self-defense measure. Furthermore, embryo-destructive stem cell research has shown to be ineffective and even dangerous, forming uncontrollable tumors and causing rejection problems. Adult stem cells are non-controversial, ethical, and most importantly, effective in treating patients. We should not fund controversial research that destroys human life when we have other options that do not destroy human life.

 
47969 05/26/2009 at 08:49:23 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47970 05/26/2009 at 08:49:24 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47971 05/26/2009 at 08:49:30 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

Respectfully, I disagree with the use of my tax dollars to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning, as they destroy life. Instead support would best be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

Please respect all human life and rescind this guideline.

 
47972 05/26/2009 at 08:49:38 PM Organization Orlando House of Prayer OrlandoHOP.org "Blessed is the Nation whose God is the LORD" Psalm 33:12

It's not looking very good for the United States... It seems as though our freedoms have given the people the mind to forget that this Nation was once founded on God and Blessed.

He will always be King and Lord, but when will we once again allow Him to rule over our Nation and it's Laws!?!???

 
47973 05/26/2009 at 08:49:43 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47974 05/26/2009 at 08:49:51 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47975 05/26/2009 at 08:50:09 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47976 05/26/2009 at 08:50:59 PM Self     Dear NIH:

I am not a scientist, but am engaged in the scientific community through close family members who perform research within international learning institutions and in collaboration with the NIH.

President Obama’s Executive Order 13505 represents an important and long sought after opportunity for the NIH to support ethically responsible and scientifically worthy stem cell research. The NIH deserves credit for producing draft Guidelines quickly to provide time for public comment. However, I am worried that that the NIH proposal will exclude funding for many existing stem cell lines ethically created over the last eight years. I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Draft National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research and urge you to take the following into consideration:

[1] Develop final Guidelines that allow the NIH to fund research utilizing established hESC lines derived in accordance with the core principles in the ISSCR Guidelines for the Conduct of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research. These guidelines recommend independent oversight, voluntary and informed donor consent and no undue inducements. Most established hESC lines that are widely used in research today have been obtained in accordance with these principles. To ensure continued international collaboration, these principles should be applied to the evaluation of existing lines.

[2] Most existing U.S. lines have been derived in accordance with the core principles in the ISSCR’s guidelines and consistent with the established federal regulatory framework involving IRB oversight and approval. In some instances, additional specialized embryonic stem cell research oversight committees (ESCROs), and other oversight methods in other countries (referred to as SCROs in ISSCR Guidelines), have also provided oversight. Established policy has demonstrated that this self-regulatory structure has provided a sound ethical foundation for stem cell research. In developing the final Guidelines the NIH should consider this well-established framework of independent oversight and give weight to its determinations.

[3] Specifically, for funding eligibility purposes, the ethical provenance of existing U.S. cell lines should be judged based on the standards that prevailed at the time they were derived, provided the protocol under which donations were accepted, and any amendments, were approved by an IRB operating under federal regulations. Non-US lines should be eligible for funding within the US if the IRB and/or SCRO for the US institution receiving NIH funding determines that the protocol under which the underlying donation occurred met operative standards of the time and core ethical principles. In addition, new requirements that go beyond established U.S. and international practice should be applied prospectively only, and after a time period for affected parties, including IVF clinics, to adapt. We specifically ask the NIH to reconsider those aspects that go beyond existing ISSCR standards, including, for example, the proposed mandatory dual IVF consent the proposed guidelines would require, and the proposed requirement that the informed consent form is the sole source for ethical validation.

[4] It will be essential that investigators know with some certainty what lines are eligible for funding. I therefore urge the NIH to work with organizations such as the ISSCR to develop a list or registry of hESC lines available for NIH-funding or resources to support the oversight process. The ISSCR has in development a registry to document that hESC derivation was performed in accordance with ethical requirements, and make associated documentation available to reviewing IRBs and stem cell oversight bodies. Such a registry would reduce uncertainty and improve research efficiency. While that registry is being finalized, a useful and easy place to start in the meantime would be for the NIH to publish, on a Web site, the lines that are determined to be fundable based on IRB and SCRO determinations.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft Guidelines.

 
47977 05/26/2009 at 08:51:22 PM Self     To Whom It May Concern:

I am a scientist at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School working with currently NIH-approved human (h)ES cells. I am also member of the ***** Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (ESCRO) Committee as well as the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). ESCRO and HSCI have separately filed detailed comments to the draft NIH Guidelines on Human Stem Cell Research, which I fully support. In addition, I support the ISSCR Guidelines for the Conduct of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and the ISSCR’s standpoint and comments on these new NIH guidelines. I want to take this opportunity to make a few remarks on some issues that strike me important from the view of a scientist.

hES cell research is a fact and has become an important part of modern societies and science in the 21. Century. In addition, it is an international effort including collaborative research between investigators from one or more different countries. It is widely accepted that hES cell research has high potential to study disease processes and can be instrumental to develop new strategies for therapeutic intervention. Despite initial and ongoing controversies, it has become clear that this research reveals tremendous scientific knowledge, which is directly or indirectly instrumental in fighting human disease – including its influence on other stem cell (SC) sources, such as adult and induced pluripotent SC. Altogether, the increasing use of hES cells in research worldwide has proven its value and importance. It is also recognized that hES cell research is attached with legal, moral and ethical concerns that require guidelines. This is neither denied nor dismissed by the scientific community working with these cells. However, given that hES cells have already become a fundamental part in modern science, guidelines should not inhibit their current and future use - while at the same time assuring their generation and use in a legal and ethical manner. Although this can be achieved, it could be compromised by the new NIH guidelines. To maintain SC research on the highest quality and internationally compatible level, revisions of these new guidelines are necessary. Detailed and comprehensive comments have been provided by the responses from *****/ESCRO, HSCI and ISSCR. Here, I want to reiterate the following key adjustments to the guidelines that I believe need to be fulfilled for continued productive work with hES cells:

1.) The acknowledgement and involvement of self-regulatory structures in national and international research institutions as bodies to oversight hES cell research, i.e., hES cell generation as well as their scientific application. In the past years, these ESCROs or SCROs and IRBs have been instrumental in establishing policies to provide the ethical foundations for SC research. In addition, these committees have already put in place the necessary mechanisms to implement these policies in the respective research institutions.

2.) In line of 1.), the adjustment to international standards. Since hES cell research is an international effort, guidelines have to be in place that would allow for the use of SC lines that were not generated in the U.S. This would include cooperative efforts with, e.g., existing SC banks and SCROSs in other countries and the identification of such hES cell lines that have been derived in an ethically and legally manner congruent with the U.S./NIH guidelines.

3.) In line of 2.), the establishment of a hES cell list or a registry that identifies the national and international SC lines, which are eligible under the NIH guidelines and can be used for NIH-funded research.

4.) The “grandfathering” of existing and established U.S. cell lines to secure their continued use in hES cell research. This is an important aspect, since these ES cell lines have been and are still extremely instrumental to the research community.

5.) The inclusion of hES cells in the NIH guidelines and funding that were derived from blastocysts created by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), parthenogenesis, and IVF embryos for research purposes.

Sincerely,

 
47978 05/26/2009 at 08:51:32 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47979 05/26/2009 at 08:51:45 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47980 05/26/2009 at 08:52:20 PM Self     Honorable Sirs and Madames, Please note these comments as my opposition to all aspects of Draft NIH Human Stem Cell Guidelines. Of note, I am opposed the draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research which require tax payers to involuntarily fund research which destroys human life. Tax payer support should be focused on adult stem cell research which has actually provided some noteworthy results as mentioned in U.S. News & World Report's "Why Embryonic Stem Cells Are Obsolete." This article also notes the results of an Israeli study on embryonic stem cells published in PloS Medicine where disabling, and potentially deadly, tumor growth was present after embryonic stem cell injections into patients. For these reasons, the prudent step is to focus efforts and government resources on adult stem cell research. There is no case where government support should be provided for human cloning or the creation of human embryos for research purposes. The draft NIH Human Stem Cell Guidelines do not prevent future funding for embryonic stem cell research that could lead to human cloning or human-animal hybrids, and this should be addressed within the draft to prevent the waste of tax payer dollars for the potential creation human clones or hybrids which have unfounded research purposes. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 
47981 05/26/2009 at 08:52:53 PM Self     I THINK THAT TO TAKE THE LIFE OF A CHILD IS HORRIBLE ..PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS EVIL ACT!!

 
47982 05/26/2009 at 08:52:53 PM Self     Please do not use human stem cells. It is immoral and unethical.

 
47983 05/26/2009 at 08:53:54 PM Self     Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans facing the challenges of living with many diseases and disorders. I have been following progress in this field with great interest and understand the importance that it holds for people living with chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis. I am encouraged to see the field of human embryonic stem cell research expanded through the issuance of these guidelines and the change in federal policy around funding for this important scientific field. Much progress has 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 studies using stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and using 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. 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.

 
47984 05/26/2009 at 08:54:01 PM Self     My wife and I are using this medimum to communicate our desire to see the changes to the Human Stem Cell guidelines, proposed by President Obama, put aside.

The changes support abortion - the act of killing new born infants. It has been proven that adult stem cells, readily available, will better serve reseach requirements.

Thank you for listening.

 
47985 05/26/2009 at 08:54:28 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.

 
47986 05/26/2009 at 08:54:36 PM Self    

I am against detroying embryonic stem cells. Lets put our money in adult stem cell research and quit destroying human life.

 
47987 05/26/2009 at 08:54:57 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47988 05/26/2009 at 08:55:43 PM Self     Being a type I diabetic I strongly support stem cell reserch

 
47989 05/26/2009 at 08:56:33 PM Self     ADULT STEM CELL RESEARCH HAS PROVED USEFUL. EMBRYONIC HAS NOT. THAT SHOULD TELL YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.

 
47990 05/26/2009 at 08:56:41 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.

 
47991 05/26/2009 at 08:56:49 PM Self     I have a 25-year old son who was diagnosed with juvenile Parkinson's Disease when he was 18 years old. His mother and I are counting on our government to do the right thing a stick to the science, be supportive and enable the research necessary to find a cure for Parkinson's and any other disease or injury where stem cell research - including embryonic stem cell research - might be a source for a better treatment or even a cure. Religious beliefs have NO place in interfering with science or with impeding the hope of millions who are stricken. Nobody knows what 'God' thinks and it is wrong to impose suffering on others as a result of a wild guess.

 
47992 05/26/2009 at 08:58:33 PM Organization Catholic Medical Association 333 E. Lancaster Ave., #348, Wynnewood, PA 19096 NIH Stem Cell Guidelines, MSC 7997 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7997 May 26, 2009

Dear Sir/Madam:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is requesting public comment on draft guidelines titled “National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research” (Guidelines). The Catholic Medical Association (CMA) is a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the largest association of Catholic physicians in the United States. This issue is of profound consequence for CMA members in clinical practice and research, and for their thousands of patients. CMA submits the following observations and suggestions:

In his March 9, 2009, statement accompanying Executive Order 13505, President Obama decried “the false choice between sound science and moral values.” Unfortunately, his prescribed solution to this apparent dilemma ignores both sound ethical values and the most up-to-date findings of scientific research. To the extent that the draft Guidelines are based upon the terms of this prescribed solution, they are fundamentally flawed in their nature and require substantial revision.

1. Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Unethical. Research on human embryonic stem cells (hESC), derived from destroying a human embryo at 4-5 days of gestation, is unethical. Each human being possesses inherent dignity as a unique, unrepeatable person created in the image and likeness of God. Principled respect for human life has characterized the medical profession in Western civilization since the founding of the Hippocratic School. In the 20th century, in response to evidence of profound violations of human rights and dignity – violations sanctioned both by government and by members of the medical profession, respect for human life was explicitly recognized by the Nuremburg Code and by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. In recent U.S. law, respect for human life and well-being, particularly in research, has been protected by 45 C.F.R. Part 46 (in particular by 45 CFR 46.208(a)(2) and Section 498(b) of the Public Health Service Act [1](42 U.S.C. 289g(b)) (Title 42, Section 289g(b) and by the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which helps to implement these legal protections.

2. Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Unnecessary. Both President Obama and the NIH in its request for comment cite the need to find cures for serious diseases as a primary reason for providing federal funding for hESC research. However, the (perhaps once understandable) perception that hESC were indispensable for curing serious diseases has been effectively rebutted. Demonstrated success in treating scores of diseases with adult stem cell (ASC)-based therapies shows that ethical, accessible alternatives to destroying human embryos in the name of science already exist. Moreover, recent research into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) shows that the pluripotency once thought to be available only through hESC is in fact available without having to resort to violating both ethical principles and human dignity. And, iPSCs, at least in principle, avoid a difficulty intrinsic to any hESC-based therapies—the challenge of immune rejection.

3. NIH Should Publish a Clear Statement of Ethical Limits and Justification Therefor for Any Research Deliberately Destructive of Human Life. CMA opposes any federal funding of research deliberately destructive of human life. However, given that President Obama and NIH seem determined to proceed with such funding and research, we think that NIH owes the scientific community and the public a clear statement of what worth and dignity nascent human lives possess, and where and how clear lines of principle and procedure will be drawn to protect this dignity.

President Obama’s comments accompanying Executive Order 13505 were unduly expansive—affirming unprecedented federal funding and support for research on early human life—excluding only human reproductive cloning. Yet, the draft Guidelines contain certain limits (e.g., federal funding for research using human embryonic stem cells derived from certain sources, including somatic cell nuclear transfer, parthenogenesis, and/or IVF embryos created for research purposes, is disallowed under these Guidelines), but without explanation of why these lines have been drawn, and whether these protections will hold in the future. NIH should bear in mind that even the Clinton National Bioethics Advisory Commission, in its report “Ethical Issues in Human Stem Cell Research” (1999), acknowledged the need to show respect for human embryonic life, stating that: “In our judgment, the derivation of stem cells from embryos remaining following infertility treatments is justifiable only if no less morally problematic alternatives are available for advancing the research.” Of course, less morally problematic and more effective alternatives are now available! Still, NIH ought to be more transparent, and provide the scientific community and the public with a clear explanation of the principles that will guide respect for human life in research. Only in this way can people register assent or dissent to public policy. And, NIH should issue a clear statement making permanent the limit it has expressed in these draft Guidelines—namely, that federal funding will never be provided to fund the creation and destruction of human embryos for research purposes.

4. NIH Should Strengthen the Existing Draft Guidelines. While anything short of full respect for the dignity of every human life represents a serious departure from sound science and ethics, CMA holds that NIH should establish guidelines that are as protective of human life as possible (rather than as broad as politically and financially expedient). In this regard, we suggest the following improvements:

• The Guidelines currently call for a “clear separation between the prospective donor(s)’s decision to create human embryos for reproductive purposes and . . . to donate human embryos for research purposes.” The Guidelines do not sufficiently define the nature of this separation. Given that the decision to pursue assisted reproductive technology (A.R.T.) is fraught with emotional complexity (not to mention technological and financial complexity), it makes sense to establish a clear separation here, including specific waiting periods, to avoid the worst abuses of the informed consent process.

• The Guidelines note that: “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.” This is clearly an inadequate standard to avoid abuse. NIH standards should demand no less than a clear and complete separation of persons, similar, for example, to that required in the decision to donate organs.

• The Guidelines state that some uses of hESC, even when such cells are derived from “allowable sources, are nevertheless ineligible for NIH funding,” e.g., (A) “Research in which human embryonic stem cells . . . or human induced pluripotent stem cells are introduced into non-human primate blastocysts”; and (B) “Research involving the breeding of animals where the introduction of human embryonic stem cells . . . or human induced pluripotent stem cells may have contributed to the germ line.” Not only is the rationale for this limitation not explained, but it still provides an unacceptable range of scenarios in which human embryonic stem cells could be introduced into animals. The Guidelines should be amended to read: “Human embryonic stem cells . . . or human induced pluripotent stem cells never may be introduced into animal embryos, or used in any respect to create human/animal hybrids.”

5. Concluding Thoughts. On April 23, 2009, in his comments on Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Obama aptly noted: “It is the grimmest of ironies that one of the most savage, barbaric acts of evil in history began in one of the most modernized societies of its time, where so many markers of human progress became tools of human depravity: science that can heal, used to kill; education that can enlighten, used to rationalize away basic moral impulses; the bureaucracy that sustains modern life, used as the machinery of mass death, a ruthless, chillingly efficient system where many were responsible for the killing, but few got actual blood on their hands.”

With regard to this unprecedented change in federal policy in funding research intrinsically linked to destroying human life, America stands at an important threshold. We acknowledge that many involved in this debate have high hopes, noble intentions and, ostensibly, the technology and financial means to pursue their goals. However, it can still be asked whether the ethical principles necessary to prevent this initiative from devolving into a serious, systemic abuse of human rights and dignity have been honestly discussed and acknowledged. This is no small matter—for the soul of science and of American society. We ask NIH to step back and reconsider these weighty questions before committing the Institute and federal funding to a course that is bound to end in ethical disaster, few, if any, cures and many dashed hopes. We ask, finally, for NIH to consider well the dialogue from the end of the well-known movie “Judgment at Nuremburg”:

Ernst Janning (Burt Lancaster): [T]hose millions of people... I never knew it would come to that. YOU must believe it, YOU MUST believe it.

Judge Dan Haywood (Spencer Tracy): Herr Janning, it came to that the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent.

Thank you for your attention to this most serious matter.

Sincerely, *****, M.D. *****

*****, Ph.D. *****

 
47993 05/26/2009 at 08:58:37 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in-vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47994 05/26/2009 at 08:58:51 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47995 05/26/2009 at 08:58:54 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47996 05/26/2009 at 08:58:56 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47997 05/26/2009 at 08:59:31 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
47998 05/26/2009 at 09:00:27 PM Self     I sincerely want to express my opposition to funding embryonic stem cell research. Adult stem cells have been proven to be much more successful in a lot of areas. Thank You.

 
47999 05/26/2009 at 09:00:27 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48000 05/26/2009 at 09:00:31 PM Self     I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of human embryos. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that harm no one and are already producing good results. In no case should government support be extended to human cloning or other morally reprehensible creation of human embryos for research purposes.

 
48001 05/26/2009 at 09:00:37 PM Self     I strongly oppose embryonic stem cell research because of the destruction of the human lives of embryos, which is in complete contradiction to the very purpose of the research, which is to save lives. My tax money is not meant to take lives, but to give life, even life in its smallest and most fragile stages. Adult stem cell research is where efforts should be centered. And the research of adult stem cells has been most promising. In regard to cloning, this is not acceptable; not even for research purposes. Thank you.

 
48002 05/26/2009 at 09:01:00 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.

 
48003 05/26/2009 at 09:01:28 PM Self     It is troubling that the National Institutes of Health plan to use federal funds for stem cell research that require destroying live human embryos. Please accept this note to register my opposition to this activity and any use of my tax dollars to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research. Instead please support adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and currently assists many suffering patients with disease conditions, both chronic and episodic.

Simply stated, as a member of the human race it goes against the very grain of my conscience and every fiber of my being !! I guess in the final analysis we will each be held accountable to the Creator for our actions in this earthly life.

 
48004 05/26/2009 at 09:01:33 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48005 05/26/2009 at 09:01:51 PM Self     Please add to Section II: Guidlelines....

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 embryonic stem cells are obtained by taking a five- to seven-day-old human and extracting the inner cell mass. These cells can then be cultured and given growth factors to grow into specific types of cell. If such an embryo-which already contains the entire genetic inheritance of the human being that it will become-does not have its inner cell mass extracted, it will grow and mature as usual (into a fetus, baby, child, and adult). Therefore, the extraction of these cells constitutes the taking of a human life, and the use of embryonic stem cells is ethically wrong."*

*See pamphlet "What the Church Teaches "Human Stem Cell Research and Cloning"-Copyright by Our Sunday Visitor; By Tara L. Seyfer

 
48006 05/26/2009 at 09:01:56 PM Self     It has come to my attention that, following President Obama’s laudable lifting of the Bush “Presidential ESC Lines” funding restrictions, that the National Institute of Health has issued draft guidelines for future regulation of embryonic stem cell research funded with public monies. I applaud the NIH’s concern for both best scientific practice and the moral implications that arise with ESC. Recent articles in scientific journals, however, and their coverage in the news has led me to be concerned about a few of the draft provisions. I provide these comments as a non-scientist taxpayer interested in providing scientists with the guidelines and support necessary for the efficient and enlightened conduct of their research.

I urge the National Institute of Health to carefully consider the question of retroactivity raised by Patrick L. Taylor in his Cell Stem Cell article “Retroactive Ethics in Rapidly Developing Scientific Fields,” published June 5, 2009 (and released prior to that date on the internet). The potential benefits from performing research on existing stem cell lines should not be discarded on the basis of new ethics regulation requiring forms or documentation that for practical or other reasons simply could not be completed for these older lines.

I also urge the National Institute of Health to allow funding for embryos developed outside the reproductive context, specifically for research purposes. IVF embryos, while doubtless essential, are not representative of the US population. Restricting NIH funding to IVF embryos would make it difficult for researchers to gain access to a variety of disease-prone genotypes, especially those associated with minority and economically disadvantaged populations that are underrepresented in the IVF pool. NIH stem cell funding (and the medical advancements therefore achieved) should not be restricted to the genes of wealthy Americans.

Thank you for your time and attention.

 
48007 05/26/2009 at 09:02:17 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.

 
48008 05/26/2009 at 09:03:06 PM Organization Brooke Ellison Project   I support such groundbreaking technologies as somatic cell nuclear transfer.

 
48009 05/26/2009 at 09:03:16 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48010 05/26/2009 at 09:03:38 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to widely successful, adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48011 05/26/2009 at 09:03:58 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.

 
48012 05/26/2009 at 09:04:13 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48013 05/26/2009 at 09:04:29 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48014 05/26/2009 at 09:04:45 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.

 
48015 05/26/2009 at 09:06:46 PM Self     I am opposed of your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that harm no one and are already producing good results. In no case should government support be extended to human cloning or other morally reprehensible creation of human embryos for research purposes.

 



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