More MS news articles for Aug 2001

Bush Names Conservative Bioethicist to Head up Stem Cell Panel

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Aug 10 - President George W. Bush on Thursday evening named Dr. Leon Kass, a conservative bioethicist at the University of Chicago, to lead a newly established presidential council of researchers and ethicists that will monitor and report on stem cell research conducted in the United States.

The announcement came as part of Bush's declaration that federal funding would be permitted for research using stem cell lines that are already in existence (see Reuters Health report, August 10, 2001: ).

Kass' stance on other politically-charged issues in research and medicine has been markedly conservative. He has spoken out, for example, in favor of a ban on therapeutic cloning as opposed to one that forbids only reproductive cloning. However, he told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday night that the council will allow the stem cell debate "to be developed and heard."

He said that the group's goal will be "to develop at the highest level, the deepest and most comprehensive understanding of the issues, and we are striving for wisdom, not just cleverness."

Kass, 62, holds a bachelor's degree in biology and a medical degree from the University of Chicago, as well as a PhD in biochemistry from Harvard University. He is a founding fellow of the Hastings Center, a Garrison, New York-based bioethics institute, and has been a member of the Medical Committee for Human Rights, the Federation of American Scientists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Copyright © 2001 Reuters Ltd