Assemblymember Cahillís Measure Sets Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research

June 22, 2004

Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill (D-Ulster and Dutchess Counties) announced Assembly passage of legislation he sponsored that would foster research to help relieve acute, chronic and degenerative diseases including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimerís and Parkinsonís diseases (A.6249-A).

"Human stem cell research offers immense promise for developing new treatments, prevention methods and potentially even cures for many debilitating diseases," Assemblymember Cahill said. "This measure allows that research to go forward while still addressing the ethical implications associated with cloning and establishes a clear difference between stem cell research and reproductive cloning."

Each year, the cost of treatment coupled with the lost productivity from acute, chronic and degenerative diseases reaches hundreds of billions of dollars in the United States. The fiscal implications do not account for the extreme human loss and suffering associated with these conditions. This legislation allows the development of beneficial stem cell research and therapeutic cloning while prohibiting reproductive cloning.

"Developing this type of research could profoundly improve the lives of people suffering severe health problems," Mr. Cahill said. "And since progress has been halted by the president, the Assembly is leading the way by offering this legislation, which will allow our scientists to begin relieving the suffering of thousands across the nation and around the world. We have only begun to see the good that stem cell research can achieve."

Assemblymember Cahill also noted that, had stem cell research been allowed to continue nationally, people like the late President Reagan may have been closer to finding relief from their battles with Alzheimerís and other diseases. In fact, Nancy Reagan has for years touted the vast potential of stem cell research. Speaking to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in May, Mrs. Reagan said, "Iím determined to do whatever I can to save other families from this pain. I just donít see how we can turn our backs on this."

"New York is poised to take a leadership role in this cutting-edge medical technology and become the third state in the nation to pass such legislation," Assemblymember Cahill said. "I now call on the Senate and the Governor to follow through and help give scientists and doctors the tools they need to treat and cure debilitating diseases," he concluded.