The Clinton administration is playing with words when it comes to bioethics, says Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee, which resists the use of cells from destroyed human embryos in federally funded research."If a law said that no federal funds may support research in which porpoises are destroyed," Johnson says, "and a federal agency then told its grantees to arrange for porpoises to be caught and killed for use in federally approved experiments, everyone would recognize this as illegal and that the decision violates the express intent of the law."The Clinton administration's revised guidelines will allow federal funding of research on the estimated 150,000 human embryos left behind at fertility clinics, provided that federal funds are not used to actually destroy the embryos. That process will be done by independent researchers, often funded by corporate money. Embryos have highly important stem cells, which develop into each kind of human tissue that a growing fetus needs. Once researchers obtain the stem cells and multiply them, the resulting stem cells would be provided to federally supported scientists. Christians involved in this debate should avoid "the simplistic answers characteristic of bumper stickers, and search more deeply for the principles that best reflect biblical faith and the love of God," says Gerald R. Winslow, a biomedical ethics professor at Loma Linda University, a Seventh-day Adventist school. A wide range of groups support using human embryos for stem-cell research. Celebrities Christopher Reeve, Mary Tyler Moore, and Michael J. Fox, all of whom may benefit from stem cell-based therapies, have testified this year in Congress, citing the significant promise that such research ...1
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