Cloning and Stem Cell Research: Legal Documents
Stem cells are cells found in most, if not all, multi-cellular organisms. They are characterized by the ability to renew themselves through cell division and differentiation into a diverse range of specialized cell types. Stem cells can now be grown and transformed into specialized cells with characteristics consistent with cells of various tissues, such as muscles or nerves, through cell culture. For this reason, their use in medical therapies has been proposed. In particular, embryonic cell lines, autologous embryonic stem cells generated through therapeutic cloning, and highly plastic adult stem cells from the umbilical cord blood or bone marrow are touted as promising candidates. As promising as this may sound, under the Bush regime, stem cell research in the United States was kept on a very tight leash. Bush limited the various uses of stem cell research enormously through the adaptation of strict legislation. The United States' former president even pronounced that he would use his veto, if the senate would stretch the stem cell legislation beyond his prescribed limits. Now, a whole new era opens for the United States, since Barack Obama already made known he will make important changes to the existing legislation concerning stem cell research. In our viewpoint, this is necessary to put America back on the world map whilst discovering the possibilities of curing diseases with the help of stem cell research. In order to compare the new strategy of Obama to the old path prescribed by Bush regarding stem cell research, insight in existing stem cell legislation is necessary. Therefore, this collection of legislation on stem cell research provides a complete and in-depth overview of the current state of affairs concerning this topic in America. This collection is vital for every legal academic scholar, especially now that the United States are marking the progress of stem cell research as one of their top priorities.
Publication Date: 7/7/2008