Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sen. Frist to Tennesseeans on Stem Cell Research

Memorial of St. Clare

Bill Frist has outlined his reasons for changing his position from supporting the president's policy for his constituents. I will not again go into why he is wrong (included here and here). I will accept that he thinks he is standing on good principle, so I retract and apologize for asserting otherwise. However, using his 10-point framework, we ought to be able to identify the Top 5 agenda for the fall that we should expect him to pursue (and sponsor) before the question of funding ESRC is entertained.

Frist #1. Ban Embryo Creation for Research;
Frist #2. Continue Funding Ban on Derivation [Of Stem Cells];
Frist #3. Ban Human Cloning;
Frist #4. Increase Adult Stem Cell Research Funding;*
Frist #10. Strengthen and Harmonize Fetal Tissue Research Restrictions.
Also, because the Senate's version of the Castle-DeGette bill passed by the House does not include the restrictions of points 6-9, we ought to expect that it will never see the light of day.

*Note that we should expect any ASCR bill to have the following prudent restrictions:
Frist #6. Require a Rigorous Informed Consent Process;
Frist #7. Limit the Number of Stem Cell Lines Available for Public Funding;
Frist #8. Establish a Strong Public Research Oversight System;
Frist #9. Require Ongoing, Independent Scientific and Ethical Review.

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