Bush vetoes stem cell research

“With his swift veto today, the president may think he has put the issue of stem cell research behind him,” said Senator Edward M. Kennedy in a press release. “He may think it is closed and forgotten. But, Mr. President, it is not over for the child with diabetes who struggles with endless injections of insulin. It is not over for those who must watch helplessly as a parent or spouse succumbs to the tremors of Parkinson’s Disease. It is not over for those in wheelchairs who dream of walking again.”
Stem cell research has the power to save lives. It brought medical research to a new level with the potential to cure cancer, diabetes, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, eye disorders, and other painful and life-threatening diseases.
On July 19, President George W. Bush executed his veto power for the first time by vetoing the stem cell research bill, H.R. 810, that would have allowed researchers to use left-over cells from fertility clinics to effectively conduct stem cell research.
In a press conference, the president stated, “This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in hope of finding medical benefits for others.” In other words, Bush would rather have these cells sit in a freezer forever than be used to cure dying and suffering people.
Personally, I do not believe that some frozen cells in a little petri dish constitute life. If those cells can be used to cure dying and suffering people, I want them to be used, and so does the majority of Americans. The basis of this veto should not lie within something as controversial as the definition of life since so many people disagree with the definition. We should be able to expect a more concrete reason from the president of our country.
The president’s veto did not actually make using the cells illegal, it merely cut all federal funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Stem cell research is incredibly expensive, and nearly impossible without federal funding.
In addition, not only is all federal funding cut, but Bush’s veto means that research labs cannot even use equipment funded by the NIH in the past to conduct this research. Research centers have to have a separate lab in which all equipment is privately funded. It is a terrible waste of valuable resources.
In the same press conference, Bush said that adult stem cells have the same potential as embryonic stem cells. This statement is wrong. Kenneth Cohen, M.D., a stem cell researcher at the Massachusetts General Hospital, said, “Someday adult stem cells may have the same potential as embryonic stem cells, but presently, they absolutely do not.”
One reason why I feel so strongly about stem cell research is because my boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer about six months ago. His cancer is very curable, and chances are, he will be fine – that is, of course, after his 12 sessions of chemotherapy.
This experience shows me how difficult it is to deal with a life-threatening disease like cancer. If stem cell research were allowed to advance, cancer, muscular dystrophy and hundreds of other diseases could be eliminated.
While sitting with my boyfriend at his chemotherapy, watching chemicals run through a tube into his veins, it makes me sick to think of all the people that will have to face this same miserable situation because our president vetoed the H.R. 810 bill.
Maybe George W. Bush should have walked through the infusion room of a cancer hospital or into the waiting room of a neurology clinic before he decided to veto the H.R. 810 bill. The benefits of stem cell research are concrete facts proven by science. If science has the power to cure diseases, science should do so.
I believe that it is immoral to allow people to suffer and die simply because some people view embryonic cells as human life.
“Mr. President, we are here to say that as long as there is a need for the hope and help that stem cell research can bring, it will never be forgotten,” Kennedy said. “As long as restrictions based on a narrow ideology block progress to new cures, this issue will never be closed.