The Latest News Archive 2013
Game Over. Life Wins.
Imagine that you or a loved one is afflicted with a disease that has no known cure. In the midst of this emotionally and physically draining circumstance, you may be asked to consider a treatment that’s not only controversial but unproven—embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). What’s worse is the ethical dilemma, as ESCR comes at the cost of an unborn child’s life. But what does the evidence show about the results of ESCR? The fact is the hype surrounding ESCR has been greatly unfounded. Once thought to possibly hold the hope of cures and revolutionary treatments, the reality has now become apparent—ESCR has been an utter and complete failure.
Over the past decade, ESCR has emerged as an issue of heated controversy. It’s been intensely examined and argued on moral, scientific and religious grounds. Even to those who consider themselves pro-life, there are dissenting opinions. For example, self-proclaimed pro-life US Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah is quoted as stating, “I embrace embryonic stem cell research because I believe being pro-life is not only caring for the unborn, but also caring for the living.” In 2001, President George W. Bush gave a speech ending with a sober warning, “While we must devote enormous energy to conquering disease, it is equally important that we pay attention to the moral concerns raised by the new frontier of human embryo stem cell research. Even the most noble ends do not justify any means.”
The critical question central to the debate is, “Do the potential medical benefits outweigh the costs to the lives of the unborn?” Sadly, it may have taken us years of destructive research only to prove that this path was a dead-end for both the research and the tiny human embryos.
Embryonic stem cell research has resulted in no promising results to date. Widely believed to potentially hold the cure for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes, ESCR is now being abandoned even by those who had previously endorsed it. Paul Billings, a researcher and co-founder of a stem cell bank said that the hopes of new medical treatments based on embryonic stem cells are “very remote” and “not likely… in the foreseeable future.” Celebrity and outspoken advocate of embryonic stem cell research, Michael J. Fox recently admitted that the cure for his disease, Parkinson’s, is quote, “more likely to come from another area.”
Yet, while ESCR has failed to live up to expectation, other sources of stem cells are proving beneficial. Adult stem cells have produced some surprising and encouraging results. Already, they have been used in the treatment of more than 75 diseases.
- For years, they have been used successfully in bone marrow transplants.
- Those with spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis have experienced positive effects, some with restored significant feeling and movement.
- Adult stem cell transplants have been shown to be a profoundly effective treatment for sickle cell disease, with some patients being cured and no longer requiring transfusions.
- In addition, umbilical cord blood stem cells are used in the treatment of diseases, including a wide range of cancers, genetic diseases, immune system deficiencies and blood disorders.
I’ve had the opportunity to personally meet a recipient of adult stem cells. Jeff Long faced severe visual impairments that left him unable to drive or even read. He underwent cornea transplants using adult stem cells to restore the structure around the cornea destroyed by the disease. This process helps the body accept the new cornea and has successfully restored Jeff’s vision. In fact, 75% of ocular stem cell patients have experienced successful outcomes.
Embryonic stem cells are unpredictable, unreliable and have not shown promise for future research. Yet, the Obama administration continues to fund ESCR with federal taxpayer funding. Why continue investing time and finances into an area that’s proven bleak? Instead, we should turn to ethical research that’s proving to provide new, effective and revolutionary treatments. For example, Rob Waddell needed a kidney transplant due to polycystic kidney disease. In most cases, anti-rejection drugs must be taken for the rest of the patient’s life to prevent rejection of the organ. However, these drugs come at a risk because the toxicity is known to lead to deterioration of the organ, especially the kidneys. Rob was able to participate in a clinical trial where he received bone marrow adult stem cells from the kidney donor. Those adult stem cells integrated with Rob’s system and allowed his body to recognize the donated kidney as his own. He’s now able to live a full life without any anti-rejection drugs, thanks to adult stem cells. Also consider the case of a 2-year-old boy with cerebral palsy known as L.B. After suffering a cardiac arrest, he was thought to be permanently unconscious with a low probability of survival. Yet, he received treatment from his own stored umbilical cord blood stem cells. Within weeks, he began to show signs of improvement. After months, he was able to speak and move. These kinds of treatments affirm the promising future of adult stem cells and umbilical cord blood stem cells.
Armed with the overwhelming scientific evidence, we now have the opportunity to be an even stronger voice for the unborn by advocating for adult stem cell research. Please take some time to learn more about this important issue. The pro-life belief does not end with just standing against embryonic stem cell research; we must also speak up and share the advantages and benefits of ethical, non-controversial adult stem cell research.
Advocating for life for ALL,
Life Issues Institute
Life Issues Institute is dedicated to changing hearts and minds of millions of people through education. Organizations and individuals around the world depend upon Life Issues Institute to provide the latest information and effective tools to protect innocent human life from womb to tomb.
Receive information like this – in your Inbox.
Subscribe to our email updates here.