NIH Issues Guidelines on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Date: 12/01/1999

Guidelines clearly designed to evade federal ban on destructive embryo research

ALEXANDRIA, VA–Just one day after President Clinton again signed into law the congressional ban on federal funding of destructive embryo research, the NIH has issued guidelines for evading that ban.

As expected, the National Institutes for Health (NIH) today issued guidelines for funding research that utilizes embryonic stem cells, even though such research necessarily involves the deliberate destruction of embryos to obtain the stem cells. Indeed, embryonic stem cell research, as now endorsed by the NIH, is unique among all other research that enjoys federal funding in requiring the deliberate destruction of human beings in order to obtain the raw materials for research.

The very act of harvesting embryonic stem cells for research destroys the human embryo. To say, as the NIH does, that it cannot legally and morally fund the actual destruction of embryos to obtain their stem cells, but will now fund research that can only take place as a result of such destruction, is disingenuous, as even the President’s own National Bioethics Advisory Committee has recognized.

The NIH press release can be found at www.nih.gov/news/pr/dec99/od-01.htm and the draft guidelines can be found at www.nih.gov/news/stemcell/draftguidelines.htm.


Experts on the science and ethics of stem cell research from Do No Harm: The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics are available for comment. To speak with them, please contact Gene Tarne or Michelle Powers at 703-684-8352.

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