What is stem cell research? Stem cells are the basic building blocks for the cellular development of our bodies. There are three major distinctions that need to be made. A fertilized human egg is considered to be “totipotent” because its cells have the total potential of developing into a human fetus. When these dividing cells form the blastocyt (the baby), the inner mass cells are ” pluripotent” insofar as they can develop into almost any other cell type. When pluripotent cells further divide into particular cell functions (skin cells, blood cells, etc.) they are “multipotent” because they can develop into most forms of that specific cell type. (e.g. blood stem cells in the bone marrow)
Embryonic stem cells are created from aborted fetal tissue and from human embryos that were destroyed in the research process. Therefore, this type of stem cell research is ethically and morally wrong. There is an alternative: adult stem research or umbilical cord blood stem cells. Cord blood stem cells can be used in the future for the child should there be a need for a donor during an operation. Following the birth of the baby, the blood that remains in the placenta and the umbilical cord is called “cord blood” . Remember that the placenta and the umbilical cord originated from the baby during his/her development in the womb for nourishment. Research has shown that, like bone marrow, cord blood is a rich source of the baby’s own stem cells.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN ADULT STEM CELL RESEARCH JUST RELEASED:
Ontario, Canada, Jun 13, 2016 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A risky adult stem cell clinical trial in Canada has proven effective in stopping and even reversing the symptoms in patients with severe cases of multiple sclerosis, a progressive disease of the immune system that is often untreatable.
The stem cell therapy was performed on 24 adult patients who were expected to be confined to a wheelchair within 10 years. After the treatment, most patients saw no further progress in their symptoms, and were even able to regain functions that had been taken away by the disease, such as their vision, balance, or ability to walk, the Guardian reports.
The treatment performed by doctors in Canada is still considered highly risky, as it required the destruction and rebooting of each person’s immune system, causing the death of one of the 24 trial patients.
However, the other patients, who were followed for up to 13 years after the treatment, all experienced no further progression of the disease, which typically worsens over time. Many of these patients were able to go back to work and resume their other normal activities such as driving or playing sports.
Our office has a pamphlet about “Umbilical Cord blood stem cells” (Cells for Life Cord Blood Institute, serving Canadians since 1997: www.cellsforlife.com)
Ontario’s only public bank is called “Victoria Angel Registry of Hope”: www.victoriaangel.org
This cord blood bank accepts cord blood donations from qualified donors. Victoria Angel’s cord blood, saved from the delivery, in turn, saved her mother, Patrizia, from leukemia. Victoria Angel’s umbilical stem cells replenished Patrizia’s bone marrow.
Other pamphlets are:
“The Truth about Stem Cell Research” by Gerard Magill, Ph.D
“Cord blood banks in Canada” (Toronto: www.createcordbank.com) and others…
“Stem Cells: Astonishing promises…but at what cost?” published by Life Matters (Catholic Organization for Life and Family: www.colf.ca)
This booklet outlines what stem cells are, the benefit of adult stem cell research, safety concerns associated with the use of stem cells, controversy over stem cell research, does stem cell research have anything to do with cloning?, why should we oppose human cloning?, what is the law in Canada on Stem Cell Research and Human Cloning, does embryonic stem cell research endanger some aspects of our society? and other moral questions….
Adult Stem Cell research holds great promise for future therapies. There is no threat to the human embryo. The advantage of this type of research is to harvest and individual’s adult stem cells (e.g. via bone marrow), treat the cells for the disease in question, and re-implant them thereby reducing the problem of immune rejection. Because adult stem cells can be harvested and cultured from patients for their own use in the future, they may be less prone to immune rejection than is likely to occur via the use of embryonic stem cells harvested from other individuals.
DVD–“Ethics of Stem Cell Research : Talk given by Dr. Clem Persaud on September 30,2004 at Mother Theresa High School)
The topics for our resources are: abortion, healing after abortion, links between abortion and breast cancer, general pro-life issues, chastity, contraception (includes also information about sexually transmitted diseases, the HPV vaccine, and more), euthanasia & assisted suicide, fetal development, in-vitro fertilization and stem cell research. Did you know that adult stem cell research is much more successful than embryonic stem cell research and more ethical and moral? Also, a woman can donate the placenta and umbilical cord to Cells for Life Cord Blood Institute? The blood from the baby’s “afterbirth” as they used to call it (placenta and umbilical cord are the scientific medical terms) can be collected with no harm to the child nor to the mother. In fact these valuable cells, known as Hematopoetic Stem Cells can save the live of mom or baby in the future. Log onto www.victoriaangel.org for details.
Another excellent website is www.cordbanking.com. Since 1988, there have been over 35,000 cord blood transplants thanks to donors worldwide. You can also contact them at 1-888-780-2885 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Wells, Awareness Advocate at The Cord Blood Center says there is another user friendly site that offers a free downloadable guide for you. Check it out at cordbloodguide.com