Over the weekend, someone asked me if President Obama's lift of the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research could lead to higher rates of abortion. At first, I was a little stunned by the question, but I began to think about all the potential problems, and ultimately my answer was "maybe."
The reason my answer was "maybe," is because in an unregulated world, the possibilities of science for profit become even larger. There is a gap between the expectations of many patients and the realities of what current science can offer us.
With the world entrenched in a global economic downturn, the business of science can easily take over, sometimes outweighing the medical implications. Already, years of research a• especially with umbilical cord stem cells a• have led to significant discoveries that, although seem very impressive in the laboratory, have failed to make their practical application in clinical medicine.
I hope that President Obama doesn't rush into fully lifting the embryonic stem-cell research federal funding ban without the proper checks and balances that are necessary to keep the ethical and protective side of science always in the forefront.