Thomas Murray

Thomas H. Murray is the president of the Hastings Center and a member of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, the author of The Worth of a Child, and an editor of The Encyclopedia of Ethical, Legal, and Policy Issues in Biotechnology.

Recent Articles

Hard Cell

P resident George W. Bush's August 9, 2001, address to the nation on embryonic stem cells was an exercise in politico-moral bumper bowling. He acknowledged the hopes of desperate patients and their families, then bounced across the alley to embrace the moral arguments of right-to-life allies. It was fascinating to watch this slow, lurching journey down the lane and to wonder where the ball would actually strike. The biggest surprise was not that he offered a compromise on research with embryonic stem cells but rather his claim that 60 cell lines had already been created and were potential candidates for research grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Most scientists were aware of only a dozen lines at most; hearing that there were many times that number was startling. The official number is now 64. Lana Skirboll, associate director for science policy at NIH and a well-respected scientist and administrator, was the source for the figure, which was based on an...