There will be no additional stem cell research in the state. Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed a bill that would have allowed the University of Minnesota to spend state-appropriated funds on stem cell research.
The bill would also have changed state policy so that “research involving the derivation and use of human embryonic stem cells, human embryonic germ cells, and human adult stem cells from any source, including somatic cell nuclear transplantation, shall be permitted and that full consideration of the ethical and medical implications of this research be given.”
Current statute permits research “which verifiable scientific evidence has shown to be harmless to the conceptus,” which is defined in statute as any human organism “from fertilization to the first 265 days thereafter.”
Supporters said stem cell research could help people with debilitating ailments, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases. They claim that it’s not enough to work just on blood cells because they don’t work with all diseases. They also claim the state’s biomedical industry would be diminished with stem cell research limitations.
“I support stem cell research that is consistent with sound ethical and moral standards,” Pawlenty wrote in his veto letter.
The governor noted that stem cell research is rapidly evolving, and that research within the past year has shown that adult skin cells can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells, which are made by adding a small number of factors to the cells in a laboratory. Conversely, he noted that embryonic stem cells are obtained by destroying live embryos.
Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Richard Cohen (DFL-St. Paul) sponsored the bill.
At Issue: On the forefront
Minnesota looks to set the national stage for health care reform
(view full story) Published 5/30/2008
At Issue: Health reform still in play
Governor nixes months of work; supporters remain optimistic
(view full story) Published 5/16/2008
Figures and statistics on elder Minnesotans
(view full story) Published 5/2/2008
At Issue: Regulating patient safety
Hospitals sometimes choose between more nurses or rationing care
(view full story) Published 4/25/2008
At Issue: Hungry for help
Food shelf needs are growing across state
(view full story) Published 4/18/2008
At Issue: No rooms for those in crisis
Psychiatric beds are full, but solutions are as complex as the problem
(view full story) Published 3/28/2008
At Issue: An umbrella of coverage
A year in the making, health care proposal lays out an aggressive timeline
(view full story) Published 3/21/2008
At Issue: Primary care — your life depends on it
A system overhaul is needed, working on a solution
(view full story) Published 3/7/2008
Figures and statistics on health insurance in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 2/29/2008