Following on the heels of Michael Reagan’s syndicated column that we referred to in a recent Action News, declaring that embryonic stem cell research is pretty much “Junk science” and that any real promising cures have come from some form of adult or placental stem cells which are legitimate and moral to use, is a Voice of the People column in a weekend edition of the Chicago Tribune on this very theme. It was written by McConchie, the Director of Public Relations and Public Policy at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity.
Embryonic Stem Cells’ Empty Promise
Daniel McConchie writes that the “Great Promise” of stem cell research is empty. He comes down hard on Chicago Cubs baseball great Ron Santo who recently promoted the Stem Cell Research Act, which would allow research on living human embryos and cloning embryos for research. Santo had been quoted in a Voice of the People article June 10, entitled “Great promise of embryonic stem-cell research. In it Santo made three specific claims about its benefits, which McConchie refutes.
He refutes Santo’s claim that using embryonic stem cells at Stanford University has produced cells that could cure diabetes. McConchie says that they did nothing of the kind, but instead formed tumors. On the other hand adult cell transplants have already helped hundreds of juvenile diabetes patients throw away their insulin needles. It is adult cells every time that have produced and are producing good results.
Second, McConchie points out, Santo claimed a Korean research team cured Parkinson’s disease in rats using embryonic stem cells. McConchie reports that where such cells were used in a human Parkinson’s patient the tissue killed the patient by forming clumps of bone, skin and hair in his brain. Use of the patient’s own adult brain stem cells to treat Parkinson’s however has produced a lasting 80 percent reversal of symptoms.
Third, Santo claims that rats paralyzed from spinal cord injuries regained their ability to walk after getting nerve cells derived from mouse embryonic stem cells. The improvement was actually minimal and nothing more has come from the five year old study. Meanwhile, several human patients have shown remarkable recovery from spinal cord injury after receiving injections of adult cells from their own tissue.
McConchie sums up that none of the claims promoted by embryonic stem cell enthusiasts like Santo are actually anywhere close to the research already being accomplished using adult stem cells. And while we are all concerned that we find cures for those suffering from disease, such cures do not lie in destroying living human embryos but in research developments that are, in many cases, already here.
Fifth Annual Face the Truth Tour Begins July 7
On Wednesday, July 7, the Pro-Life Action League launches its fifth summer Face the Truth Tour. Begun in the year 2000, Face the Truth has now visited more than one hundred sights in these annual two-week summer tours, going as far west as Dixon, IL, north into Wisconsin and east into Indiana. This year’s tour should be one of the best yet, and all of our readers from the Chicago area are urged to join us at one or several sights.
Readers from elsewhere are urged to look into launching a Face the Truth Tour in your own area. We will be happy to help you with the planning or such a tour, because it is simply a fact that people must face the truth that abortion truly is the taking of a human life, and is never allowed, if we are going to change the hearts and minds of Americans. We must show America the face of abortion so that they will then demand the outlawing of all abortion.