Friday, June 18, 2004

Why Government Shouldn't Fund Stem-Cell Research

President Ronald Reagan's death from Alzheimer's disease has renewed calls for President George W. Bush to stop blocking stem-cell research. Dubya opposes it because day-old embryos get destroyed after stem cells are extracted, and it's akin to abortion to him. Nancy Reagan supports the research, as do the vast majority of Americans. Booker Rising cites a statistic that 44% of blacks agree with Dubya (even though blacks disproportionately acquire Alzheimer's in old age), who is not changing his stance.

I support stem-cell research, but not government-funded research. This is even though scientific exploration is a federal constitutional power under Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution ("to promote the progress of science and useful arts" clause). I don't buy the anti-abortion argument, as I believe the state shouldn't be involved there either. My question: if stem-cell research is the next big thing, then why isn't private industry all over it? The research and development dollars they plugged in would be more than made up by profits from medicinal cures. Could it be that it's too iffy an enterprise and they want a government guarantee?


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