More MS news articles for Aug 2001

Bush to Decide Stem Cell Issue by Early September

BETHESDA, Maryland (Reuters Health) Aug 06 - President Bush said this weekend that he would make up his mind on the divisive issue of whether to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research before Congress returns to work next month.

There will be a decision before Congress comes back, he told reporters on Saturday as he left the National Naval Medical Center after his first presidential physical exam and headed to his ranch in Texas for a month-long vacation. The Senate and the House of Representatives also are on a long summer break, returning the first week in September.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said on Friday that Bush had not yet made up his mind and that he would "think about it" while he was at his ranch in central Texas. "He is still deliberating. He has not made a decision," Fleischer told reporters. "He's continuing to think about it," Fleischer said. "He continues to listen to various sides of the issue."

Bush has been meeting with scientists, ethicists and others on both sides of the issue at the White House over the past several weeks. He has said that the stem-cell question is not a political decision for him but rather a moral and ethical one.

After meeting with the Pope last month, Bush said he and his administration were taking an "unusually deliberative" approach over whether to fund the research and that he would take his time.

Fleischer added that when the decision was announced, Bush would share information about who he had talked to, what arguments influenced him, and why he came to that determination.

Copyright © 2001 Reuters Ltd