The Michigan residents say yes to the Proposal 2 on the Nov. 4 ballot to repeal ban on embryonic stem cell research. They should say yes to put Michigan researchers in the hunt to solve heretofore incurable diseases.
They want to repeal the ban, because: The ban doesn’t preserve life. Instead, it wastes unwanted embryos that could save and improve lives.The ban also stalls scientific exploration for life-giving cures. A repeal of the ban would enable researchers to stop discarding the unwanted embryos of couples undergoing fertility treatments. Because of the ban, unwanted embryos are thrown away, and with them goes all the scientific potential they hold.
Michigan’s embryonic stem cell ban is among the most restrictive in the country at a time when 40 other states have embraced this research. Proposal 2 would have been better with some provision built in for the possibility of state regulation of this research. Instead, it has a blanket ban on restrictions. But that doesn’t preclude the Legislature from seeking another constitutional change if that appears warranted.
But passage of Proposal 2 would not bring a parade of scientific horror stories. Federal regulations and institutional codes of ethics prevent bizarre experimentation. You can’t buy or sell embryos. None would be created specifically for research. And obviously, no one could be forced to participate.