Tag Archives: California

Near Absence of Embryonic Stem Cells in California Clinical Trial Program

Eugene C. Tarne  

In 2013, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) – the nation’s largest funder of stem cell research outside of the federal government – authorized a new program, the Alpha Stem Cell Clinics Network.

The Network’s goal, according to CIRM, “is to accelerate the development and delivery of stem cell treatments to patients.”  To achieve this, CIRM approved $70 million “to create a new statewide network of sites that will act as a hub for stem cell clinical trials.”  CIRM envisioned a network of “up to five clinic sites at established academic institutions.”  To date, three Alpha Stem Cell Clinics have been created, housed at City of Hope, University of California San Diego, and UCLA/UC Irvine.

A Plea for True Compassion: Against Assisted Suicide

Jacqueline H. Abernathy , Ph.D.  

On September 11, California legislators passed Assembly Bill X2-15, the “End of Life Option Act,” which legalizes physician-assisted suicide. If the bill is not vetoed by California Governor Jerry Brown within 31 days of its passage, the bill will become state law. Here is an open letter written to Gov. Brown by CLI Associate Scholar Dr. Jacqueline Harvey, Ph.D. urging him to veto the bill.

California Assisted Suicide Bill Passes Assembly during National Suicide Prevention Week

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

September 6 to 12 is National Suicide Prevention Week, and yet almost as if in a cruel joke, the California legislature has fast-tracked a bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide in the state. Just yesterday, the “End of Life Options Act” (AB X2-15) passed the State Assembly by a vote of 44-35.

The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote this Friday, where it is expected to pass since the Senate passed a very similar assisted suicide bill earlier this year. That earlier bill stalled in committee. If the current measure passes, it would take effect in 31 days unless Governor Jerry Brown vetoes it. The Governor has not made any public statement on the bill, except that he was displeased at its introduction into his special session on healthcare financing.

California’s Assisted Suicide Bill Revived in Special Session

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

In mid-August, California lawmakers announced a second attempt to legalize assisted suicide this year. In July, a nearly identical bill, SB 128, died in the Health Committee. The proposed legislation, now revived as Assembly Bill X2-15 (the End of Life Option Act), was introduced during a special legislative session on healthcare financing, which will allow it to bypass the previous committee in which it stalled.

Last Thursday, AB X2-15 which was introduced into the special session by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), was referred to the Public Health and Developmental Services Committee. This 13-member committee is a smaller health panel than the original health committee in which the bill died, and does not include the handful of Democratic Members who opposed the assisted suicide bill in July.

The Continuing Promise of Non-Embryonic Stem Cells

Eugene C. Tarne  

The California based City of Hope, one of the country’s leading cancer research hospitals, recently sent out birthday greetings to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the nation’s leading funder — apart from the federal government – of stem cell research.

“On its 10th birthday, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine celebrated 10 stem cell therapies that have been approved for clinical trials, including an HIV/AIDS trial at City of Hope,” the message read.

The birthday greeting contained an unintended irony, for while CIRM was approved by California voters a decade ago to give priority funding to human embryonic stem cell research, eight of the 10 approved clinical trials referenced by City of Hope were for research projects using adult and other non-embryonic stem cells.

Human Arithmetic: Valuing Lives

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

A report emerged recently that at least 148 female inmates in the California penal system had been sterilized without authorization.  The outcry justifiably focused on the fact that some women did not give informed consent, that it was against the law without prior authorization, and that in some cases it appeared there had been coercion.  But the underlying […]