Chicago, Ill.—The ethics panel of the American Medical Association (AMA) concluded this week that the use of human embryonic stem cells (HESC) in medical research is permissible, including "therapeutic cloning." The new policy puts the normally conservative AMA, the largest medical organization in the United States, in opposition to the Bush administration's position on HESC research.

Although opposition to the use of embryonic tissue was raised in committee hearings, when the proposal reached the floor of the AMA's House of Delegates Annual Meeting on Tuesday (June 17, 2003), the ethics panel report was included with several other items of business and was accepted without dissent.

In a later parliamentary move to debate the opinion in conjunction with discussion of its companion report offered by the Council on Scientific Affairs, John McMahon, a general surgeon and delegate from Helena, Mont., sought to have both reports referred to the Board of Trustees...

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