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Joint Statement on President Bushís Decision

President Bushís decision to allow federal funding for research on existing stem cell lines is a welcome first step towards realizing the full promise and potential of embryonic stem cell research, which has the potential to cure Parkinsonís disease. We are pleased that the President recognizes the power stem cells potentially hold in curing, healing, and preventing Parkinsonís disease as well as other devastating diseases and conditions. A major federal investment in embryonic stem cell research is essential to attract the best scientific minds to the field, protect the integrity of the findings, and set ethical standards for the research.

We are concerned, however, that the limitations the President has placed on the federal funding means that the research will proceed a small step at a time when great strides are needed. The number, quality, diversity and availability of existing cell lines are all key questions that must be answered before the adequacy of the President's plan can be assessed. We hope the NIH moves quickly to provide this information to the scientific community. We also encourage the NIH to begin funding meritorious embryonic stem cell research immediately. Lives depend on this.

Finally, the Parkinsonís community hopes we will be a part of the Presidentís Council on biomedical innovations and their ethical ramifications. We have much to contribute to the national discussion of this issue.

Source Date: Aug 16 2001