Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Delaware SB 80 Deserves Support

Delaware’s SB 80 has stirred passions on both sides of the stem cell research debate here in the First State. Senate Bill 80, the Delaware Regenerative Medicine Act, will be up for vote in the House this month after already passing the Senate. This Wednesday, 01/04, there will be a public hearing at legislative hall from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. I find the whole debate fairly interesting, and the fact that there is a town hall meeting at legislative hall makes me realize why I like Delaware so much: where else could the people of a state gather to discuss policy in the place where it will actually be decided?

My two cents? I support this measure whole heartedly. Its primary purpose is not an expansion of embryonic stem cell research, but to create oversight and standards regarding various aspects of research surrounding regenerative medicine. This is particularly important in Delaware, a state where much private research takes place. The controversy is about several other provisions of the bill which “will permit couples whose cells created the embryos to donate them for legitimate medical and scientific research, if they so choose. A couple’s decision to donate their embryos, instead of having them destroyed, would be strictly voluntary. This legislation would permit scientific researchers to use donated human embryos created during in vitro fertilization procedures for legitimate research projects, subject to restrictions. The restrictions would include the following: a) a determination that the embryos would never be implanted in the female donor; b) a requirement that the embryos would otherwise be discarded; c) a requirement that the embryos are donated for the purpose of stem cell research by the individuals seeking fertility treatment; d) a requirement that written informed consent would have to be obtained from the individuals donating the embryos; and e) a prohibition that prevents the individuals who are making the donation from receiving any financial or other inducements for the donation.”

These embryos will be destroyed anyway; to me, this is indeed a moral issue. Allowing the research to take place does not destroy life any more than discarding the embryos. Instead, it works towards the creation of solutions that alleviate suffering and SAVES lives. To ignore a science that has the potential to save lives in order to “protect” embryos that will be destroyed anyway is both immoral and illogical. SB 80 deserves full support and should serve as a model for similar legislation at the national level.


Blogger Jess said...

I'm not a Delawaran (or whatever you call yourselves), but I support such initiatives on stem cell research. I only disagree with the idea of legislation on this at the national level. I think moral issues should be determined at the state level, either in state legislatures or by referendum.

11:35 PM  
Blogger M. McKain said...

I like this legistlation particularly because it provides protection to make sure that embroys are not created for the specific purpose of research. With something like this, as long as the national government leaves it up to the states, the research will just follow the laws. That is one of the arguments for the bill that I've heard - that it would draw researchers to Delaware and boost our economy (which is shakey in the north right now because of the MBNA buyout by Bank of America).

5:28 PM  

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