Stem Cell Research

Society for Humanistic Judaism Supports Stem Cell Research

Research on stem cells shows great promise for life-saving breakthroughs and relief of palpable human suffering of individuals with afflictions including Parkinson’s disease, spinal-cord injuries and diabetes. However, existing evidence creates substantial doubt as to the usefulness of adult stem cells compared to embryonic stem cells because they are more difficult to gather in large numbers, more difficult to grow in the laboratory and less versatile. Also, it is uncertain how many cell lines will be needed for research and how many of the existing embryonic cell lines will be scientifically useful.

We recognize that a significant ethical issue has been raised concerning research with stem cells obtained from human embryos because the embryo being destroyed has the potential for human life. However, the saving of lives and alleviation of human suffering takes precedence.

THEREFORE the Society for Humanistic Judaism favors unrestricted government funding of embryonic stem cell lines as needed to assure that research is not limited or impaired and that stem cell lines placed into the bodies of human beings are the very best that can be designed.

— January 26, 2002