Science Serves Life: Vatican Conference Promotes Adult Stem Cell Research
Adult Stem Cell research is fully supported by the Catholic Church
The Catholic Church supports adult stem cell research and opposes embryonic stem cell research. Human embryonic stem cell research is always deadly. A human embryo is not distinct in kind from a human being, but a human being at an early stage of development. "Extracting" their stem cells is a form of embryonic execution. Efforts to promote the tired old "Catholic Church is against science" argument is perpetuated by those who do not like the Catholic Church's uncompromising defense of the dignity of all human life, at every age and stage.
Adult Stem Cells hold great promise and research in this field is encouraged and supported by the Catholic Church
VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Last week the Pontifical Council for Culture - in collaboration with NeoStem, Inc. and its educational foundation - cosponsored an important conference entitled "Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture." The Pontifical Council is involved in a 5-year, $1 million partnership with NeoStem, Inc. to promote research involving adult stem cells and their potential use in medical treatments.
Adult Stem Cell research is fully supported by the Catholic Church. Vatican Information Services reported last June that " international biopharmaceutical company NeoStem Inc. and the Pontifical Council for Culture have announced a joint initiative between their charitable organizations to expand research and raise awareness of adult stem cell therapies.
"NeoStem's Stem for Life Foundation, formed to create awareness about the promise of adult stem cells to treat disease, and the pontifical council's STOQ Foundation (Science Theology and the Ontological Quest), will work to advance research on adult stem cells, to explore their clinical applicability in the field of regenerative medicine, and the cultural relevance of such research especially with its impact on theological and ethical issues".
The Pontifical Council for Culture through its charitable foundation STOQ International made an economic commitment of one million dollars to this collaboration with NeoStem, an international biopharmaceutical company with operations in the US and China.
The Catholic Church unequivocally opposes human embryonic stem cell research. She must! She will not change her position. Why? The answer is simple, it is always deadly. The human embryo is a living member of the human species who, like every one of us, is always in development. Every human being possesses an equal moral dignity and has a fundamental Right to Life. This is true no matter what age or stage of our development, degree of dependence upon others (we are all dependent upon others) or the opinion of others as to our "worth". We are not products we are persons.
The Vatican expressed it this way in 2008, "the use of human embryos or fetuses as an object of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings who have a right to the same respect owed to a child once born, just as to every person." (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Dignitas Personae on Certain Bioethical Questions).
Among the worst examples of using language to deceive and hide the truth is the failure to differentiate between human EMBRYONIC stem cell research and ADULT stem cell research. I have concluded that blurring these two very different areas of medical research may be an intentional act on the part of some who are hell bent on killing human embryonic persons for experimentation.
Oh, I know, some people will gasp when they read such a strong statement. However, given the amazing breakthroughs occurring with adult stem cell research and the lack of coverage such advances are receiving, I am left with no alternative. Let's consider a few examples from the recent past.
Scientists from the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston, Massachusetts announced the results of a study in May wherein they used stem cells which they derived from ADULT skin to actually re-grow areas of the retina and improve vision. Chinese researchers announced they have taken stem cells derived from ADULT skin and prompted them to become liver cells, thereby restoring a liver in a laboratory animal.
Last May the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine reported that scientists discovered that ADULTS have stem cells within their lungs which are capable of being used to regenerate damaged lungs. They found "undifferentiated human lung stem cells nested in niches in the distal airways. These cells are self-renewing, clonogenic, and multipotent in vitro."
Have you heard or read about these scientific breakthroughs involving ADULT stem cell research? If not, I suggest it is because the entire "stem cell" discussion is intentionally laden with misinformation and mired in emotional appeals which cloud the scientific facts.
Human embryonic stem cell research has produced no substantial, lasting medically verifiable results. More importantly, it is always deadly for the human embryonic person. To the contrary, adult stem cell research harms no-one and has borne very promising results. Yet, those who support adult Stem ...
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