Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Amniotic Fluid Stem Cell Discovery Discussed on EWTN

Richard Doerflinger is the head of the Pro-life secretariat of the USCCB, and he had some interesting facts to share about the stem cell debate on the EWTN news show, The World Over.

As I posted earlier, the discovery of stem cells which are neither embryonic nor adult, in amniotic fluid, which have many of the same properties of embryonic stem cells without the persistent tumor growth, was the result of a careful peer-reviewed study done over a number of years, yet it had trouble getting published in a scientific journal. It is a potential breakthrough in that these cells do NOT involve the destruction of human life, merely the collection of the by-products of live birth(Mr. Doerflinger stated that cord blood and placental tissue are rich sources of stem cells).
The sad fact is, the scientific community is stuck in it's blind faith in embryonic stem cells which have not produced ONE clinical trial with humans despite millions spent here and abroad in research. Groups like the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation route all their money to this type of research, and refuse to fund studies like an FDA approved clinical trial at Harvard University using adult stem cells to cure diabetes, that is still not launched for lack of funds. As a Type II diabetic, I find this kind of willful ignorance appalling, as human lives are at stake.
Non-embryonic, sometimes called adult stem cells are in clinical trials with humans and have produced results with 72 different diseases. Yet, the public, and Congress are pitifully misinformed about this, lumping them together with immorally obtained and useless embryonic stem cells. Then the Catholic Church and other pro-lifers like President Bush are called anti-progress for opposing the destruction of embryos for research.
Richard Doerflinger was questioned why he thinks scientists hold on to embryonic stem cell research so tightly, when journals like the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine have had to issue retractions on it's high flown promises on this research. He said that scientists are interested in exploring the origins of life, via cloning, and this is merely a wedge issue to help them gain public support for human cloning in order to mass produce babies for research. Over 97%of the frozen embryos formed for IVF are NOT released for research, and are cared for by laboratories paid by their parents. Embryos for research will largely come via egg donation, which is already exploiting poor women, and cloning.
Brave New World, here we come!

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