“The Wicker-Dickey Amendment cannot be changed by Presidential sleight of hand or wave of pen.”
John Podesta, the founder of the Center for American Progress and the leader of the transitional team for the newly invented “Office of the President Elect,” told Chris Matthews of Fox News Sunday (transcript here) that Barack Obama intends to do what he can to change the US policy on “stem cells” by the use of the Presidential Executive Order (EO).
In light of current law (the Dickey Amendment) and regulations that seem to require legislation such as that vetoed by President Bush last year, some may join me in wondering how much the new President will actually be able to accomplish by the use of EO’s.
In fact, according to one of the original members of the CAP’s Progressive Bioethics initiative, R. Alta Charo, a lawyer with quite a bit of experience in this sort of law, it won’t be as easy as Mr. Podesta said. Ms. Charo made the statement above as a keynote speaker for the program at that World Stem Cell Summit that I mentioned in September.
Videos of much of the program can be found here.
While searching for information on the current laws on embryonic stem cells, I found this blog, “World Stem Cell Summit 2008,” . Blogger Kate Willet summarized the proceedings in an unofficial capacity. From the parts I’ve watched, her impressions on the program and speakers as it happened are fairly accurate.