Curing Without Killing

Often I hear the false claims that FRC is against stem cell research.  In truth, FRC is a strong advocate for ethical stem cell research.  This ethical form of research has produced actual treatments and cures, as opposed to embryonic stem cell (ESC) research.  Regrettably many politicians, including the new Democratic leadership, use ESC as a political football, caring little about actual cures.  Research from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine now threatens to take some of the steam away from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) attempts to increase taxpayer funding for life-destroying embryonic stem cell research.  Doctors, using cells either from amniotic fluid or directly from the placenta once the women had given birth have demonstrated once again that amniotic fluid-derived stem (AFS) cells can be extracted and turned into many tissue types including nerve, blood vessels, liver cells, cartilage, bone and cardiac muscle.  The new amniotic/placental stem cells meet all the criteria that most scientists claim they want in stem cells: Extensive proof that they are pluripotent, i.e., able to form all tissues of the body, hence as flexible as embryonic stem cells. Unlike embryonic stem cells, AFS cells do not form tumors.  Nor are there any ethical problems with saving amniotic cells, whereas ESCs have to be extracted from human embryos which perish in the process.  We should also remember that last July the House rejected a bill that would have supported more research for these promising non-embryonic cells, despite unanimous vote by the Senate.  This exposes how they are only interested in experimenting on embryos, NOT helping patients, looking for a triumph of politics over caring about patients.  Last week the Democrats talked a lot about ethics, if they truly care about setting standards of morality they should abandon their quixotic quest to use taxpayer dollars on unethical research and instead concentrate on research that can cure without killing.

Additionally, adult type stem cells already are helping thousands of patients.  1200 clinical trials underway use this NIH website to see how many "clinical trials" with adult stem cells are currently recruiting patients. Click the little box in the upper left to include those trials that have finished recruiting patients and are underway.