Stem Cell Research Policies and Theories of President Obama and President Bush
On August 9, 2001 President Bush announced that for the first time, federal funds would be made available for Human Embryonic Stem Cell research. However, the Bush Administration limited this funding to research in which the embryos were already destined to be destroyed. President Bush stated, “…if they're going to be destroyed anyway, shouldn't they be used for a greater good, for research that has the potential to save and improve other lives?” (President Bush’ Speech) This is the ‘Utilitarianism’ theory, because President Bush is justifying the actions (using embryos for research) because it has the potential to help a large number of people. While I can understand his logic on this issue, I wonder if he should have just banned destroying human embryos, and also banned over-creation of too many embryos (when doing so for infertility).
President Bush continues on to say, “I also believe human life is a sacred gift from our Creator. I worry about a culture that devalues life, and believe as your President I have an important obligation to foster and encourage respect for life in America and throughout the world.” In this statement President Bush is using the “Natural Law” theory. He is falling back on his religious beliefs that he was taught from childhood, that God expects us to take care of one another and respect what he has created. “There is way of living that is in accordance with human nature, this kind of natural law theory holds, and morality prescribes that we live such a life.” (St. Thomas Aquinas – Natural Law Philosophy handout) President Bush based most of his thought process around the Natural Law Philosophy when he made his decision on Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
Toward the end of his speech about his decision on Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research he states, “This allows us to explore the promise and potential of stem cell