WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) joined Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) to introduce the Patients First Act, which would promote stem cell research without the creation, use, destruction, or discarding of human embryos.
“Medical breakthroughs achieved via stem cell research need not come at the expense of innocent life,” said Senator Blackburn. “Protecting the sanctity of life and encouraging scientific research are not mutually exclusive. The Patients First Act honors both pursuits. I thank Senator Wicker, in particular, for his leadership on this issue.”
“We do not have to choose between promoting stem cell research and respecting life,” Senator Wicker said. “The Patients First Act would encourage the use of adult stem cells for medical purposes. All Americans can support this ethical and effective alternative to embryonic stem cell research.”
“Ethical science that respects the dignity of life is always the best science. Advances in stem cell research can be achieved without relying on the destruction of human embryos,” Senator Hyde-Smith said. “This legislation establishes scientifically-sound policies that protect the sanctity of life while promoting promising stem cell research on better treatments and cures for many diseases. I commend Senator Wicker’s leadership on this bill.”
The Patients First Act would:
- Promote the creation of pluripotent stem cell lines without the creation of human embryos, or the destruction or discarding of, or risk of injury, to human embryos;
- Intensify stem cell research that may result in an improved understanding of, or treatments for, diseases and other adverse health conditions;
- Promote research and human clinical trials using stem cells that are ethically obtained and show evidence of providing clinical benefit for human patients;
- Direct the National Institutes of Health to prioritize stem cell research that has the greatest potential for near-term clinical benefits given currently available evidence;
- Reverse President Obama’s Executive Order 13505, which gave the Department of Health and Human services the authority to use embryonic stem cells in research; and
- Codify the Dickey-Wicker Amendment prohibiting the use of federal funds for human embryonic stem cell research.
The legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-S.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.).