Lengthening the Stem: Allowing Federally Funded Researchers to Derive Human Pluripotent Stem Cells From Embryos

Recent developments in fetal tissue research and stem cell research have led to dramatic breakthroughs in the search for cures for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and a host of neurological disorders. Because this research involves fetal tissue and stem cells from human embryos, many complicated ethical and legal implications surround it. This Note explores the history of fetal tissue research and stem cell research, examines the surrounding ethical and legal issues, looks at the current state of federal law, and concludes that Congress should allow federally funded researchers to derive stem cells from discarded human embryos obtained from in vitro fertilization clinics.