Janet Rowley, Tony Perkins Debate Embryonic Stem Cell Research

It could save lives, argues Janet Rowley. Perhaps, but it's a slippery slope, says Tony Perkins.

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President Obama repealed a federal funding ban on human embryo stem cell research. Advocates say that such research could cure afflictions that include spinal cord injuries and Alzheimer's disease, but critics say it involves destroying human life unnecessarily. Should such research proceed?

Should stem cell research be permitted?

Pro

Janet Rowley
Professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and a member of the President's Council on Bioethics.

The decision to end many restrictions on embryonic stem cell research has removed a key barrier to research and discovery. Scientists are driven by the desire to succeed as fervently as our most success-driven businessmen, entrepreneurs, or lawyers. But for years they have contended with research limits that prevent innovation but do not serve a clear moral purpose. A responsible expansion of embryonic stem cell research can advance a vital goal—the search for new medical treatments—while respecting the dignity of human life.... Read more >>

Con

Tony Perkins
President of the Family Research Council, promoting "the sanctity of human life in national policy."

Proponents of embryonic stem cell research must view the future with great hope. After all, on Monday, President Barack Obama reversed President George W. Bush's decision to shut the door on such research in August 2001 when he restricted federal research funds to a limited number of embryonic stem cell lines.

One might also think that with all the talk about the promise of human embryonic stem cell research since 1998 (mouse embryonic research started in 1981), patients would be seeing some benefit using these stem cells by now.... Read more >>