Chances are you’ve heard all the buzz about stem cell research and the promise it holds to cure many dreaded diseases or ailments, such as cancer, blindness, heart disease or paralysis. But did you know there is a dramatic difference between types of stem cell research?
Embryonic stem cell research uses stem cells from human embryos that are purposefully destroyed. Because it kills a human life in order to glean these cells, embryonic stem cell research raises deep ethical concerns. In addition, embryonic stem cells have not lived up to the promise and consistently fail to produce desired results.
There is a better, life-affirming alternative.
Adult stem cells offer an endless supply from tissues in the heart, liver, skin, and even fat. Because adult stem cells do not require the killing of a person, they represent a great advance for science. Already, adult stem cell research has produced dramatic results in treating over 70 diseases and disorders.
In addition, scientists have now developed ways to engineer adult stem cells in the lab. For all practical purposes, these are identical to embryonic stem cells, thus eliminating the reason to destroy human embryos for research.
The bottom line: stem cell research using adult stem cells is the positive and promising alternative to embryonic stem cell research. Unlike embryonic stem cell research, adult stem cell research does not require the killing of humans at their earliest stage of development.
Reality Check: Umblilical vs. Embryonic
Proponents of destroying human embryos for research purposes usually claim that embryonic stem cells offer the only home for scientific breakthroughs. Maybe they haven’t heard the amazing story of Adam Susser.
Adam was born with a serious condition that caused blindness and quadriplegic cerebral palsy. After receiving cutting edge umbilical cord stem cell therapy, Adam is showing remarkable signs of improvement hat include being able to both see and speak.
Umbilical cord stem cells offer a positive alternative to life-destroying embryonic stem cell research by using the donated blood of a baby’s umbilical cord following birth.
Adoption, Nine Months Early
Proponents of killing human embryos for use in research often argue that embryos created at fertility clinics and not implanted are nothing more than spare parts that should be used for their stem cells. But is this really the only use for these frozen embryos? Absolutely not. In fact, the Snowflakes Human Embryo Adoption Program encourages couples who have created embryos they have not implanted to donate them to another couple experiencing difficulty in having children. JoAnn Davidson, a leader of the Snowflakes program, says, “It’s basically adoption nine months earlier.” For more information about the Snowflakes program go to www.snowflakes.org.
For more in-depth discussion and news on stem cell research, visit: http://www.stemcellresearch.org/