Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

Font Size

Survey: Most OK Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Majority of Americans Approve or Strongly Approve; Conflicting Values Noted
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 14, 2005 -- Most Americans generally approve or strongly approve of research on embryonic stem cells, according to a new survey.

The topic has been controversial, and the new survey showed that conflict.

The survey, which was done in September, included about 2,200 U.S. adults. It was designed to be unbiased and comprehensive, the survey's authors note. They included Kathy Hudson, PhD, of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at the Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute.

Their report is called "Values in Conflict: Public Attitudes on Embryonic Stem Cell Research."

About Stem Cell Research

Stem cells can develop into many different types of cells. Embryonic stem cells may be able to develop into a wider range of cells than adult stem cells. That's attracted attention from scientists seeking new treatments for conditions including Alzheimer's disease and paralysis.

Embryonic stem cells are isolated from human embryos, which results in the destruction of the embryos. That's prompted debate about the ethics of stem cell research.

Most Voiced Approval

One of the survey's questions was, "In general, do you strongly approve, approve, disapprove, or strongly disapprove of stem cell research?"

The answers:

  • Strongly approve: 22%
  • Approve: 45%
  • Disapprove: 17%
  • Strongly disapprove: 15%
  • Not applicable: 2%

Gender, Politics, Religion

Women were more likely to voice disapproval or strong disapproval of embryonic stem cell research (35% of women and 27% of men).

Democrats were more likely than Republicans to express approval or strong approval of embryonic stem cell research (75% of Democrats and 55% of Republicans).

Those with at least a college degree were more than twice as likely to strongly approve of embryonic stem cell research.

In addition, a "clear majority of those in all religion groups, except fundamentalist and evangelical Christians, approve of embryonic stem cell research," states the report.

No significant differences in approval or disapproval were seen by racial and ethnic background.

Conflicting Values

Participants were also asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed with five statements about embryonic stem cell research. Those statements included:

  • "It is really important to protect human embryos, even if it will delay the development of new medicines."
  • "It would be terrible if cures were delayed because of policies that make embryonic stem cell research difficult."

Today on WebMD

Remember your finger
When it’s more than just forgetfulness.
senior man with serious expression
Which kinds are treatable?
senior man
Common symptoms to look for.
mri scan of human brain
Can drinking red wine reverse the disease?
eating blueberries
Colored mri of brain
Close up of elderly couple holding hands
mature woman
Woman comforting ailing mother
Senior woman with serious expression