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Policy Topic: Stem Cell Research Health Care Policy: The Past and the Future: HCS/455 A very controversial subject in the United States has been Stem Cell research. The United States has a very complicated legal and political history when Stem Cell laws and policies come into play. Scientifically speaking, the practice of stem cell research and treatments consists of the use of cells found in all multi-cellular organisms. There are two different types of stem cells, adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells, each come from different places.

The difference is that adult stem cells are derived from mature body tissue (bone, marrow, umbilical cord, etc. ) and embryonic stem cells are derived from human embryos. The argument or controversy comes mainly from the way embryonic stem cells are obtained. During vitro fertilization a pregnant woman may choose to have an abortion in which the embryo dies (NIH, 2010). Many religious groups and bioethicists are against this practice because they believe this constitutes killing a potential human being.

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Researchers have countered these people, saying that the embryo would have been destroyed anyway and the stem cells that live on may have the potential to save lives indirectly through research and directly through therapy (NIH, 2010). Before 2009 the Stem Cell policy in the United States was heavily regulated by a bill President Bush put into place that banned federal funding of research using new stem cell lines in 2001. To be clear, there has never been a law State or Federal that banned stem cell research in the United States, but only placed restrictions on funding and use under Congresses power to spend.

In the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been tasked with creating and enforcing guidelines that pertain to stem cell research and treatments. These guidelines created by NIH are backed by federal law. The NIH has published these guidelines known as “National Institutes Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research. ” These guidelines can be summarized as a set of policies and procedures under which the NIH will fund such research, and help ensure that NIH-funded research in this area is ethically responsible, scientifically worthy, and conducted in accordance with applicable law. President Barack H.

Obama issued Executive Order 13505: Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells on March 9, 2009 which succeeded over President Bush’s executive order that created barriers for the research of stem cells. President Obama addressed the public saying (The White House, 2011): “Today, with the Executive Order I am about to sign, we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers; doctors and innovators; patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years: we will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research.

We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research. And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield. ” Instantly one should notice that the stakeholders involved in stem cell research is very broad, from patient to researchers anyone who is concerned with the advancement of stem cell research is be considered as a stakeholder in stem cell policies and research. Stakeholders are individuals or groups in a society who are directly involved with or indirectly affected by the development of stem cell research.

President Obama did a great job addressing all the stakeholders in his speech. Specifically, one could say patients are the largest benefactor or stakeholder in stem cell research policies. These patient groups are in alignment with the medical community which makes for the most visible of all stakeholders in stem cell research. Motivation is driven by promises of cures and treatments for diseases made by medical professionals, scientists and researchers. Reference Lee, Jesse. (2009). The White House: Signing of Stem Cell Executive Order.

The White House. Retrieved from http://www. whitehouse. gov/blog/09/03/09/A-debt-of-gratitude-to-so-many-tireless-advocates/ NIH. (2011). Federal Policy. Retrieved from http://stemcells. nih. gov/policy NIH. (2011). National Institutes of Health Guidelines on Human Stem Cell Research. Retrieved from http://stemcells. nih. gov/StemCells/Templates/StemCellContentPage. aspx? NRMODE=Published&NRNODEGUID=%7bA604DCCE-2E5F-4395-8954-FCE1C05BECED%7d&NRORIGINALURL=%2finfo%2ffaqs%2easp&NRCACHEHINT=NoModifyGuest#guide

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