Polls: Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey of May 3-6, 2010 showed:
- “Medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos” – 59% for and 32% against.
- “Doctor assisted suicide” – 46% for and 46% against.
How can pro-life move these percentages in our direction? By sharing the pro-life truths illustrated below, family and friends will better understand these issues.
Adult Stem Cells: The Only Moral and Practical Answer
Embryonic stem cells have cured no one. Adult stem cells have cured people in over 80 diseases. Embryonic stem cells require the death of a human embryo to extract the cells. In the case of adult stem cells, they can be obtained from many parts of a person’s body including human blood, bone marrow and a relatively new, very rich source, cord blood, which does not require “human sacrifice.” Even California and Maryland are finally spending some funds on adult stem cells instead of wasting millions on embryonic stem cell research with no results. Here are recent success stories.
Scientists’ Advance Further Renders Embryonic Stem Cell Research Obsolete Palo Alto, CA (LifeNews.com)
Scientists have made a major breakthrough using the process known as direct reprogramming that further renders embryonic stem cell research obsolete. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have succeeded in transforming mouse skin cells directly into functional nerve cells.
With the application of just three genes, the new cells make the change without first becoming a pluripotent type of stem cell — such as an embryonic stem cell. That is a step long thought to be required for cells to acquire new identities.
Dr. David Prentice, a former biology professor from Indiana State University now associated with the Family Research Council, talked with LifeNews.com about the breakthrough. “This is a striking advance in the ability to transform cells into desired functional tissues. The direct reprogramming technique shortcuts any need to revert cells to a pluripotent, flexible state,” he said.
Dr. Prentice also wrote an article entitled, “Adult Stem Cells, Not Embryonic, helping Patients With Multiple Sclerosis”. www.lifenews.com/bio3098.html
Ten Year-Old Boy Receives New Trachea from his Own Stem Cells By Hilary White London,, March 23, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com)
A ten-year-old British boy has become the first child to be given a new windpipe, which will grow inside his body, created from his own stem cells. The breakthrough surgery was conducted at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London and doctors hope that it represents the next step forward in transplantation technology.
Stem cells taken from the boy’s bone marrow were injected into a fibrous collagen “scaffold” created from a donor trachea. Only hours after the boy’s cells were mixed with a growth medium and applied to the scaffold, the trachea was stripped of the donor cells and implanted surgically into the boy.
Doctors are optimistic that the new implant will begin naturally to grow new internal and external tracheal cells inside the boy’s body. Previously, organs created from stem cells had all been grown outside the body in the lab, a process that can take months. Dr. Mark Lowdell from the Royal Free Hospital called the procedure “embarrassingly simple.”
The boy, whose identity is being kept secret, is reported to be doing well and is breathing normally. A genetic defect left the boy with a windpipe only one millimeter across. A metal implant that had assisted his breathing was pressing into his blood vessels, leaving him open to potentially life-threatening accidental bleeding.
One of the major drawbacks to traditional donor transplant organs, apart from the ethical implications, is the problem of immune system tissue rejection. Recipients of donated organs must remain on drugs that suppress the immune system response and that can shorten life expectancy. The new trachea, created from the boy’s own cells, completely circumvents this problem, the physicians said.
The work in England builds on the successful transplant of a partial trachea in Spain on a woman in 2008. Claudia Castillo received a section of a new tracheal airway rebuilt from stem cells, but using a much more complex and costly process.
Surgeons called the procedure a “milestone moment” in the development of transplant medicine, noting that because the whole procedure had taken only hours to complete, it costs only tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands of pounds, bringing it inside the practical realm for patients.
Professor Martin Birchall, the head of translational regenerative medicine at University College London and part of the boy’s transplant team, told media, “It is the first time a child has received stem cell organ treatment, and it’s the longest airway that has ever been replaced.”
Dr. Birchall said there needs to be more research to demonstrate the process can work again, but added, “We’d like to move to other organs as well, particularly the larynx and esophagus.”
Amazing But True Miracle Adult Stem Cell Cures
Britain’s Daily Telegraph, 2/22/10, reports the story of Russell Turnbull, who had ammonia sprayed into his right eye, which scarred his cornea. Turnbull lost most of his sight in that eye, and suffered pain every time he blinked.
But now Turnbull has had his sight almost completely restored, thanks to a pioneering procedure using stem cells. Adult stem cells.
Dr. Francisco Figueiredo, an eye surgeon at the North East England Stem Cell Institute, performed an operation that involved cutting away a tiny portion of Turnbull’s undamaged eye— complete with stem cells. He then grew the section of the eye to 400 times its size, and stitched it “onto the badly-damaged cornea in place of the damaged membrane,” the Telegraph reported.
Turnbull is thrilled with the results. “The operation was a complete success, and I now have my sight back,” he said. “This really has given me my life back.” The technique has been used on eight other patients; most have had their vision almost completely restored.
Some good news: Physician-Assisted Suicide is stopped in Canada!
The bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada was overwhelmingly defeated by a vote of 228 to 59 last month. Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition tells LifeNews.com that was an “unprecedented victory.”
“The massive victory was accomplished by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition quarter-backing a focused campaign that involved groups and individuals from many different organizations,” he said. “In other words the incredible victory was achieved by maintaining a strict focus and working in coalition with many different groups who shared one goal, opposing the legalization of assisted suicide.”
What is the story in the United States? At this time only Oregon and Washington have legalized physician-assisted suicide by ballot and in Montana the courts legalized it. The proeuthanasia groups will not give-up and have targeted several other states.
Respect for Life? Swiss assisted suicide clinic Dignitas has been accused of dumping dozens of urns filled with human remains in a nearby lake. Divers said they lost count of the number of containers full of ashes they had retrieved from the bed of nearby Lake Geneva.
Does he hate life so much? Jack Kevorkian recently said, “The single worst moment of my life… was the moment I was born” He also said that he disagreed with the states who have legalized physician-assisted suicide because the patients must be terminal. He’d rather allow anyone to kill themselves with a doctor’s help. “What difference does it make if someone is terminal?” he said.“We are all terminal.”
Suicide-Prevention Experts Decry Ad that could encourage suicide. A new billboard in San Francisco is drawing criticism from suicide-prevention experts, who fear it may encourage desperate people to take their own lives. It says: “My Life, My Death, My Choice” with a web address giving out suicide help information.
“This is irresponsible and downright dangerous; it is the equivalent of handing a gun to someone who is suicidal,” wrote Lanny Berman, president of the International Association of Suicide Prevention www.iasp.info
What can a person do to help stop assisted suicide?
- Don’t wait to sign a durable power of attorney for health care. For a free copy of “Will to Live” go to www.Righttolifecommittee.com
- Teach others about the facts. Go to crusadeforlife.org to access the updated Bible study, “A Christian Response to Euthanasia”. This is an excellent way to teach the subject in a home setting,, a Bible study group or Sunday school class. There is also information at www.internationallifeservices.org from Scholl Institute of Bioethics.
- There are some concerns about the policies of AARP -alternative groups – AMAC.US or Americanseniors.org
- Has your doctor signed the Hippocratic Oath? Quote: “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest such counsel, and in like manner, I will not give a woman a pessary to produce abortion.”
If not, find another doctor!