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NIH Stem Cell Guidelines Ethically Irresponsible, Scientifically Unworthy, Useless to Patients

Contact: J.P. Duffy, Maria Donovan, 866-FRC-NEWS

WASHINGTON, July 7 /Standard Newswire/ -- Today, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins responded to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines implementing President Obama's executive order for federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). President Obama's order and the NIH guidelines remove life-protecting limits on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

"Embryonic stem cell research requires dissecting and commoditizing the youngest, most vulnerable humans, said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. "The new guidelines demanded by the President promote poor science, reflect bad health care policy, and do nothing to fund treatments with adult stem cells that are providing documented benefits for suffering patients. The guidelines implement a plan that will force taxpayers to foot the bill for research that involves human destruction, not healing.

"The NIH guidelines create an incentive to create and destroy so-called 'excess' embryos, pasting a veneer of 'ethics' on unethical experiments. They remove limits on taxpayer funding of experiments that require embryo destruction, and open the door to future abuses. NIH clearly believes the President's order allows them to fund other forms of unethical research at any point in the future.

"The guidelines purport to have tight informed consent requirements, but don't even require the IVF doctor and the stem cell researcher to be separate persons, opening a gaping loophole for researchers to increase embryo production for their own purposes," added Perkins.

"Acting NIH director Raynard Kington apparently noted that 30,000 of the 49,000 comments received were against any federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, but these comments were ignored."

"Instead of funding more life-destroying experiments, federal funding should go toward life-saving treatments and clinical trials using adult stem cells, which are on the cutting edge of treating patients for diabetes, spinal cord injury, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases," concluded Perkins.