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No Need for Embryonic Stem Cells

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Doctors at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine recently evaluated published medical reports from 1997 to 2007 pertaining to the use of adult stem cells in the treatment of autoimmune as well as cardiac and vascular diseases. Their conclusion:

Stem cells harvested from blood or marrow, whether administered as purified HSCs or mesenchymal stem cells or as an unmanipulated or unpurified product can, under appropriate conditions in select patients, provide disease-ameliorating effects in some autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular disorders (Burt, et al., 2008).

In other words, while stem cells harvested from newly formed human beings have shown no verifiable promise, “blood-derived (from peripheral or umbilical cord blood) and bone marrow-derived stem cells, which can be easily and safely harvested” (Burt, et al., parenthetical item in orig.), are producing positive results.

Adult stem cells, which can be used to replace damaged or aging cells, are located in tissues throughout the body, and may be harvested without danger to the donor. Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, are harvested from embryos four to five days after fertilization, thus requiring the death of the embryo. Advocates of the use of embryonic stem cells insist that they “are thought to offer potential cures and therapies for many devastating diseases” (“Frequently Asked...,” 2007), but thus far proof is still lacking.

Regardless of the scientific aspects and the potential medical benefits, the central issue that ought to head the list of considerations in the controversy over embryonic stem-cell research is the life of the children involved. One of the things that is listed as an “abomination” to God is “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17). During the period of the kings, God denounced the Israelites as wicked because “they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin” (Jeremiah 32:35). God must surely be outraged that “modern” man is also sacrificing children—but this time on the altar of medical research.

REFERENCES

Burt, Richard, et al. (2008), “Clinical Applications of Blood-Derived and Marrow-Derived Stem Cells for Nonmalignant Diseases,” The Journal of the American Medical Association, 299(8):925-936, February 27, [On-line], URL: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/299/8/925.

“Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)” (2007), Stem Cell Information, National Institutes of Health, [On-line], URL: http://stemcells.nih.gov/StemCells/Templates/StemCellContentPage.aspx ?NRMODE=Published&NRNODEGUID=%7bA604DCCE-2E5F-4395-8954-FCE1C05BE CED%7d&NRORIGINALURL=%2finfo%2ffaqs%2easp&NRCACHEHINT=NoModify Guest#whatare.




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