Most non-scientists have trouble following the technical side of the stem cell debate, but the basic principles you need to know are actually pretty simple:
- There are different kinds of stem cells and different ways--some lethal to developing human beings, others harmless--to tap their potential for medical advances.
- Embryonic stem cell research, including human cloning research, destroys a living human embryo--the early phase of life that each of us human individuals begins with.
- After decades of research and hyperbolic speculation, embryonic stem cells still have not helped a single patient.
- Meanwhile, non-embryonic, or "adult" stem cell research that does not harm a human embryo, is already providing real help and hope to patients suffering from 73 diseases and ailments.
- U.S. law forbids federal funding used to harm or kill human embryos. A recent court case by the Christian Medical Association and others challenges the Obama administration's policy to fund apparently illegal research.