When stem cell research is mentioned, it generates significant controversy. Studies such as embryonic stem cell research has sparked ethical questions nationwide. While stem cell research has produced treatments that can treat a wide variety of diseases, funding stem cell research has met with strong resistance from government officials and lobbying groups.
Why has the funding of stem cell research been limited? Why does funding stem cell research run into resistance when it can provide treatments for a wide variety of diseases? It is important to understand the history of stem cell research, and how politics has shaped funding of stem cell research. If you would like to know more about the benefits of stem cell research, call Stem Cell Authority today.
History of Politics and Stem Cell Research Policy
The Beginnings of Legislation
Over the past two decades, government policy has shaped funding of stem cell research. In 1996, the Dickey-Wicker Amendment was passed by Congress. This amendment prohibited federal funds to be used for the creation of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes. A few years later, the National Institutes on Health created the following guidelines for stem cell research:
- Human embryonic stem cells must be derived with private funds from frozen embryos from fertility clinics
- That they must have been created for fertility treatment purposes;
- That they be in excess of the donor’s clinical need; and
- That they be obtained with consent of the donor.
Throughout the early 2000’s, the Bush administration continued the limits of stem cell research funding exclusively to adult stem cell research. Two attempts to introduce enhancement provisions to include in-vitro fertilization in stem cell funding were struck down. In 2009, President Obama reversed the prohibition of funding enacted during the Bush administration.
Breakthroughs of Stem Cell Funding During the Obama Administration
During the Obama administration, numerous breakthroughs were achieved using increased stem cell funding. One of these breakthroughs included the transplantation of adult stem cells into heart attack patients. Other examples included the human nuclear-transfer stem cell procedures and the transplantation of embryonic stem cells to improve the sight of those who are legally blind.
In 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act. This act authorized $6.3 billion for stem cell funding, mostly for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Additionally, the act includes provisions to assure the timely review and regulations of regenerative therapies. This includes therapies enabled by increased stem cell therapy research.
Taking Action to Continue Stem Cell Funding and Research
Stem cell therapies show tremendous promise in many areas of medical research. However, the controversy that surrounds stem cells and therapy continue to persist. With a new administration in the White House, the future of stem cell research funding is unclear. The clash between science and conservative politics and views has stalled medical progress. To help scientists to continue this important research, you can take action.
In states such as Wisconsin, there is pending legislation that block further stem cell research funding. If you advocate for continued education and funding for stem cell therapies and research, contact your local representatives.
The following is a guide found on The Union of Concerned Scientists website:
- Call congressional offices directly or through the switchboard. If you do not have the direct number, you can reach US representatives by calling 202-225-3121, and US senators by calling 202-224-3121
- Ask to speak to the aide who handles the issue about which you are calling. Your call will be more influential if you speak to the correct aide. If you cannot speak directly with the aide, leave a message with the receptionist stating your views.
- Let them know that you are a constituent. Elected officials are most interested in your opinions if you are their constituent, so be sure to say the city and state you are from.
When you reach a legislator, you should have the basic information about stem cell funding and research in front of you. You should be able to specifically describe the benefits of stem cell research and can clearly state your opinion on what action your legislator should take. Be concise but be brief in your conversation because legislators and their aides field a high volume of calls per day. Above all, be timely—phone calls before a crucial vote will likely get more attention.
Need More Information on Stem Cell Funding and Research?
Stem cell therapy is an emergent treatment that can provide people lasting relief from illness and disease. Continued funding of stem cell research ensures that scientists can continue to work towards further breakthroughs. If you are looking to better educate yourself on the benefits of stem cell therapy, call Stem Cell Authority toll-free today.
Our experienced team of professionals can provide the resources you need to become better informed and aware of stem cell therapy. Call us right now.