Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963954 | Print ISBN: 9781412959087 | Online ISBN: 9781412963954| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
THE ISSUE OF stem cell research, especially that involving embryonic stem cells, first surfaced as a presidential campaign issue, albeit on a very minor level, in 2000. In the presidential election in 2004, it became much more visible and was one of the topics discussed directly in national debates between the candidates. The controversy over whether embryonic stem cell research should receive federal funding was elevated to the point at which a significant percentage of the American electorate knew about it, expressed opinions, and voted accordingly. The promise of a solution to diseases such as diabetes or Alzheimer's or the ability to repair spinal cord and similar injuries contrasted with what seemed to many others the creation of life only to destroy it, so as to harvest the material for effecting these cures. In the end, however, its importance was outweighed by other considerations such as the war in Iraq ...