The political debate on use of embryonic stem cells for medical and scientific research currently is framed as polar extremes – either you support medical research, or you support preservation of embryos. At issue is whether these hard-line attitudes prevail among members of the public – where do Americans draw the fine moral lines between medical progress and the moral status of early embryos, and how solidly are those lines drawn? The Genetics and Public Policy Center, supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts in partnership with the Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute at Johns Hopkins University, surveyed 2,212 Americans from September 9-19, 2005 to probe respondents' knowledge, awareness and attitudes toward embryonic stem cell research and their policy preferences for that research. Uniquely, this survey measures the values that shape these attitudes and policy preferences, providing a textured picture both of current public opinion and of projections of how they may shift with advances in science. The Center will release its findings, "Values in Conflict: Public Attitudes on Embryonic Stem Cell Research," at a press conference at the National Press Club on Oct. 13, 2005.
Source: Eurekalert & others
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