I’ve gone and commented. I support stem-cell research. I think it is valuable and necessary for the development of some incredible medical technology, including the alieviation of certain types of blindness, the possibility of curing certain froms of parapalegia, and the key to Alzhiemer’s and other diseases.
That’s what I think. What do you think? Go and comment. The new guidelines are in draft form at the NIH
Forwarded message from Don Reed, national stem cell research advocate–
Dear Stem Cell Research Advocate:
The next 8 days are crucial in the stem cell research struggle.
Remember when President Obama signed that document removing the Bush stem
cell restrictions? That same day he called upon the National Institutes of
Health to draft a new set of guidelines for scientists wanting federal
Those guidelines have just been issued. see
The next 14 days are the comment period for the new guidelines for stem cell
research, which American scientists will have to live with if they want
federal funding. This is the public’s only chance to shape those guidelines:
which can be improved-or made worse.
Unfortunately, there are problems with the proposed guidelines!
Not only are the guidelines far more conservative than we had hoped, but
opponents of the research are systematically flooding the comment process.
Conservative religious bodies, have launched a national campaign to attack early stem cell research by mass emails to the NIH.
*”The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) launched a new
“Oppose Destructive Stem Cell Research” campaign today, equipping citizens
to contact Congress and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to oppose
embryonic stem cell research .” — WASHINGTON, May 6
Is their anti-research campaign having an effect?
Dr. Wise Young of Rutgers University , “. of the 6000 plus comments that NIH
has received concerning the draft guidelines, 99% were from people who
opposed embryonic stem cell research.”-Carecure Forum
Imagine what the enemies of research will do with a statistic like that!
Think of the State Senators and Representatives who have to fight for stem
cell funding-they will be hammered-no politician ever wants to stand alone.
Supporters of stem cell research must be heard.
To prevail, we need to do three things:
Reach out to our networks
First, read this message all the way through; it contains background
information from the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research
(CAMR), and other sources.
Second, send your message to the government. Click on the comment box you
will find at the following url:
Third, SHARE THIS LETTER-or write your own– email all your contacts.
Any statement of support has impact. One sentence can make a difference.
Click on the following to contact National Institutes of Health:
Your comment can be as short as “I support embryonic stem cell research, and am glad some of the restrictions are being loosened.” That matters.
Anyone who clicks on the comment box, and writes in a sentence-that message
will be tallied as one citizen in support. Of course, you may say more if
you want. If you are a long-term research supporter, your letter will be put
in the expert witness category.
But if you want to get more involved in shaping the guidelines, that would be
helpful. The guidelines are politically very timid, and must be
strengthened. Problems are:
a “grandfather clause” is needed to insure that every stem cell line already
approved under the previous stringent guidelines will be eligible;
alternate sources of stem cell lines such as SCNT should not be excluded from funding, and more. (see CAMR comments below.)
But every patient advocate in America must at least click on the comment
box, and make a statement in support of early stem cell research.
Click on the following to contact National Institutes of Health:
This affects everyone in America, and the world. MORE THAN ONE PERSON IN A
FAMILY MAY COMMENT. Every adult friend or family member should click and
make a comment– as well as every scientist, medical student, every teacher,
every parent-everyone who has a reason to want stem cell therapies and
Here it is, one more time: http://nihoerextra.nih.gov/stem_cells/add.htm.
Or, send a letter (ideally on letterhead) to: NIH Stem Cell Guidelines, MSC
7997, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda , Maryland , 20892-7997
But whatever you are going to do, do it now. There is very little time
before the May 26th deadline.
We have worked hard, many years. We are so close. We must not falter now.
Click on the button, send your comments in-do it today, please.
And thanks. You make the difference: you are one of the overworked few who
change the world.
P.S. Here is a sample letter from Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR)
You can copy and paste into Comment section of NIH comment form and edit as appropriate for you.
Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans
suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I
have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant
strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued
by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get
to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create
new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress.
I am pleased that these draft guidelines — in Section II B — would appear
to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for
federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos
at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that
any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be
eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines
to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by
following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure
that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made.
I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for
stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as
somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft
guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final
guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other
ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments
in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the