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Obama took right action on stem cell research

Obama took right action on stem cell research

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President Barack Obama made the correct decision by overriding the Dickey-Wicker amendment that prevented the use of any federal funds for research involving human stem cells. Now, private companies are allowed to create stem cell lines, but they have to use their own funding.

Many people seem to have their opinion about this issue but some do not fully understand the facts that surround what a stem cell is.

An embryonic stem cell is undifferentiated, present in the earliest stages of an embryo. Scientists believe that research into cell differentiation can lead to breakthroughs in a wide variety of medical areas, from nerve diseases and spinal cord injury to tissue and organ replacement. From diabetes to Parkinson's disease, embryonic stem cell research may well lead to cures.

While those who maintain that human embryos represent a potential human life are correct, the fact is that the embryos used for research would otherwise be discarded. They are most commonly leftover embryos from in-vitro fertilization procedures, destined to be destroyed rather than implanted.

As opposed to violating the sacredness of life, use of embryonic stem cells from embryos for medical research may well help to improve the lives of humans. As one who does feel that all life is sacred, I believe the use of embryonic stem cells to preserve and extend the lives of the living is important and should be supported. Therefore, I believe that President Obama was correct in his decision to lift the Dickey-Wicker amendment.

Emily Dorsey, Normal

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