Here is an update to a previous post on the Dickey-Wicker Amendment and why this piece of legislation is so very important. The Dickey-Wicker Amendment is the last impediment to a government funded Brave New World where human life is created, manipulated and destroyed in the name of science.
The Dickey Amendment, which prohibits federal tax dollars to be used to fund research that creates or destroys human embryos has again been passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. This is good news.
But, I believe this was a political move and not an ethical one. This year, President Obama lifted the funding restriction for embryonic stem cell research put into place by President Bush. In Obama's speech, he stated he was against human reproductive cloning, leaving the door open for support of therapeutic cloning which would create and destroy human embryos for research purposes. The federal funding of therapeutic cloning is direct conflict with the Dickey Amendment. So I believe that the Dickey-Wicker Amendment is already in political gun sites, possibly for 2010.
This means that we cannot let up. We need to continually remind our representatives in government that we want them to uphold the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. The pressure to get rid of Dickey is already formidable. The New York Times has called for the end of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment:
Other important embryonic research is still being hobbled by the so-called Dickey-Wicker amendment. The amendment, which is regularly attached to appropriations bills for the Department of Health and Human Services, prohibits the use of federal funds to support scientific work that involves the destruction of human embryos (as happens when stem cells are extracted) or the creation of embryos for research purposes.
Until that changes, scientists who want to create embryos -- and extract stem cells -- matched to patients with specific diseases will have to rely on private or state support. Such research is one promising way to learn how the diseases develop and devise the best treatments. Congress should follow Mr. Obama's lead and lift this prohibition so such important work can benefit from an infusion of federal dollars.
Continue reading What is the Dickey Amendment and why should I care? Part 2