Bush vetoes stem cell research, announces new initiative

President Bush has vetoed a measure promoting embryonic stem cell research for the second time. This time, however, he simultaneously announced a related and symbolic executive order. The order, a new scientific initiative, will have three parts: allowing research involving other stem cells to be eligible for federal financing if they have the same properties as embryonic stem cells, ordering the Secretary of Health and Human Services to support alternate techniques and the exploration of new scientific theories involving stem cells obtained from amniotic fluid or cells that have been deemed “clinically dead”. The initiative appears to be symbolic because there is no money attached. Also, Bush’s initiative pushes for the National Institute of Health to focus on a recent study involving possible reassignment of the skin cells of mice. Leading scientific researchers contend that this alternative has not been replicated in humans and is not a sufficient substitute to research and progress made with embryonic stem cell research. Embryonic stem cells can develop into any type of tissue in the body, possibly resulting in the discovery of new treatments and cures for the sick and injured. Researchers, advocates and politicians, including many from the President’s own party, will inevitably be questioning and criticizing Bush’s veto and virtually symbolic initiative.

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