Health Policy Documentary

Feature length documentary about the national debate
surrounding federal funding for stem cell research.


The Bush Administration’s decision to restrict federal funding for embryonic stem cell research in 2001 triggered a national debate around this research and the role of the federal government in funding scientific research.  Advocates and opponents of embryonic stem cell research rallied around Congressional attempts to impact this policy.  With states addressing funding for this research in the absence of federal support, a national political conversation around this critical area of health policy shaped the research landscape from 2001-2009.


The Honey Locust Health team was at the center of this debate, producing Life is for the Living a feature length documentary telling the stories of five American families living with the painful realities of Juvenile Diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Spinal Cord Injury set against the national debate over embryonic stem cell research. As the debate continues in Washington and across the country, three generations reveal their challenges, their frustration with the President’s policy, and the hope that more funding for embryonic stem cell research will lead to new treatments and cures to relieve their suffering and save their lives.

Life is for the Living explores the science behind stem cell research and the political debate taking place across the nation. The film includes an introduction by CBS 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace and interviews with the nation’s leading scientific researchers, political leaders, and advocates including former US Attorney General Janet Reno.  The film premiered in 2008 to a sold out Michigan Theater of over 1,000 viewers and was digitally distributed on as well as featured in scientific meetings and presentations across the country.