President’s Council on Bioethics

On August 9, 2001, President George W. Bush issued a policy statement banning the use of federal funding for research involving human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines developed after that date; it was supplemented by an Executive Order on June 20, 2007. The Bush administration objected to the destruction of cryopreserved human embryos, which is necessary to derive a self-perpetuating line of hESCs. The order did not prohibit use of federal funds for hESC research involving lines developed prior to this date, as the loss of human life had already occurred. In proclaiming this executive order, President Bush also announced the establishment of the President’s Council on Bioethics (PCB), an appointed commission of ethicists, lawyers, physicians, scientists, and public intellectuals whose purpose is to monitor ...

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