NWPF

News ArchivesRead News

Bill to regulate stem-cell research rejected by Senate

Thursday April 21, 2005

KELLY KEARSLEY

Olympia, WA, Aug. 12, 2005(AP) - OLYMPIA -- After days of delay, the Senate killed a bill yesterday that would permit and regulate stem-cell research, with two Republicans who originally supported the measure jumping back to join their caucus.

Senate Minority Leader Bill Finkbeiner, R-Kirkland, was the lone Republican to vote for the bill, which was defeated 26-23.

The measure would permit stem-cell research, including the use of human embryonic stem cells, but prohibit reproductive cloning.

Senate Democrats said they thought they had enough votes to pass the bill, but a few senators apparently changed their minds.

Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, voted against the bill after giving a floor speech Friday in which he said he was voting in favor. He said he lost his grandfather and a close friend to Alzheimer’s and that his father died from complications of diabetes.

Hewitt did not return phone calls yesterday afternoon.

Senate Republicans tried various tactics to delay yesterday’s vote, including asking that the Senate adjourn early, and seeking to send the bill back to committee.

The stalling frustrated Senate Democrats, who have been waiting to vote on the bill since an emotional debate Thursday.

Embryonic stem cells are at the heart of the controversy. Such cells come from human embryos created through in-vitro fertilization. The embryos are destroyed when stem cells are extracted.

Scientists believe embryonic stem-cell research could lead to cures for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Opponents say destroying the embryos is destroying human life.

Senate Democrats say the bill still has a chance. In an attempt to keep it alive, Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, switched her vote from yes to no. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, said that because Brown voted with the majority, Senate rules will allow Brown to bring the bill back for reconsideration.

Recent News

Aug 24 - Study Details Process Involved in Parkinson’s Disease
Aug 20 - Two proteins work together to help cells eliminate trash; Parkinson's may result
Aug 17 - Scientists visualize critical part of basal ganglia pathways
Aug 17 - VA benefits office seeks all vets exposed to Agent Orange
Aug 12 - New, rapid dementia screening tool rivals 'gold standard' clinical evaluations
Aug 11 - Strolling in Seaside, fighting Parkinson's
Aug 11 - Scientists probing molecular origins of Parkinson's disease highlight two proteins
Aug 11 - Could Chocolate Help To Ease Parkinson’s Disease?
Aug 10 - Take 2: Why Seattle should try to replicate Spokane’s 3-on-3 Hoopfest success
Aug 10 - Book Review: A voyage into Parkinson’s disease, led by patient and journalist
Aug 10 - Parkinson's could be slowed with existing drug
Aug 7 - Opinion: Why modern life is making dementia in your 40s more likely
Aug 3 - Software Turns Smartphones into Tools for Medical Research
Jul 31 - Innovative Technology Using Dragonflies Might Offer Insights Into Human Brain Function
Jul 27 - Low-dose lithium reduces side effects from most common treatment for Parkinson's disease
Jul 27 - Opinion: Parkinson's disease creating class of workers who fear for their jobs: PennLive letters
Jul 22 - Parkinson's: Diabetes drug may offer clue to treatment
Jul 19 - Alzheimer's Drugs in the Works Might Treat Other Diseases, Too
Jul 17 - Parkinson's disease may be treatable with antimalaria drugs
Jul 16 - Virtual research studies feasible