Obama opens needed research door

Medical research got an important boost from President Barack Obama Monday when he reversed a George W. Bush executive order regarding stem cells.

Obama’s edict allows scientists performing research using embryonic stem cells — cells derived from discarded embryos — to receive federal grants for their research.

Bush’s 2001 order had prohibited federal funding for such research in most instances.

We have long believed Bush’s order had nothing to do with science or morality and everything to do with placating a vocal minority in the Republican Party.

The cells being used for the research are not otherwise destined to grow into babies. They will simply be discarded. And, while other types of stem cells have shown promise in some research, scientists say the embryonic stem cells offer more avenues for potential medical breakthroughs.

They may provide the material that leads to remedies for afflictions ranging from degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s to paralysis caused by injury.

That potential to end suffering is ample reason to support the president’s Monday decision.


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