2008 Michigan Proposal 2

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MI Proposal 2 2008

2008 Michigan Proposal 2 was a significant ballot measure in the state of Michigan, United States, that took place during the general elections on November 4, 2008. Officially known as the Michigan Stem Cell Amendment, the proposal sought to amend the state constitution to allow the use of human embryonic stem cells for research purposes. It was a contentious issue, drawing attention from various groups across the political and ethical spectrum.

Background[edit | edit source]

Prior to the passage of Proposal 2, Michigan had some of the United States' most restrictive laws regarding stem cell research. The use of human embryonic stem cells, which many scientists believed could lead to breakthroughs in treating diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes, was severely limited.

Proposal Details[edit | edit source]

The text of Proposal 2 aimed to lift these restrictions, allowing researchers in Michigan to derive stem cells from embryos that were donated for research purposes. These embryos were to be those that were created for fertility treatments but were no longer needed and would otherwise be discarded. The proposal included provisions to ensure that the donation of embryos would be voluntary and without compensation. It also established that any research conducted under this amendment would be subject to existing federal and state laws regulating scientific research.

Arguments For and Against[edit | edit source]

Supporters of Proposal 2 argued that it would bring Michigan to the forefront of stem cell research, potentially leading to medical breakthroughs and economic benefits for the state. They emphasized the ethical framework of the proposal, which aimed to use embryos that would otherwise be discarded.

Opponents raised ethical concerns about the use of human embryos in research, arguing that it devalued human life. They also expressed skepticism about the potential for stem cell research to lead to significant medical advances and were concerned about the lack of specific regulatory details in the proposal itself.

Outcome[edit | edit source]

The proposal was approved by a margin of 53% to 47%, making Michigan the 21st state in the U.S. to allow research on human embryonic stem cells. The passage of Proposal 2 marked a significant shift in the state's stance on stem cell research and was seen as a victory for the scientific community and advocates of biomedical research.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Following the approval of Proposal 2, Michigan saw an increase in stem cell research activities. Universities and research institutions in the state expanded their research programs, and Michigan became more attractive to scientists working in the field of regenerative medicine. However, the debate over the ethical implications of embryonic stem cell research continued, reflecting the broader national and international discussions on the topic.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD