It’s time to stop wasting money on embryonic stem cell research

In a stunning news story, “Scientists Admit Embryonic Stem Cell Research Hasn’t Been Successful,” Lord Patel of Dunkeld, the chairman of the United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network and a chancellor at Dundee University, says “embryonic stem cell research is simply not working.”

As I’ve pointed out in media interviews for years, embryonic stem cell research has not been used to help a single person and is siphoning off research dollars that could be used to further adult stem cell research.

Adult stem cells (along with cord blood and placental stem cells) are currently being used or tested in over 65 diseases in humans. This form of ethical stem cell research, a method does not sacrifice innocent human life, is already saving lives every day.

Not only that, adult stem cells do not form the cancers or tumors that can be found with embryonic stem cells.

Add to these facts another news story, “Embryonic Stem Cell Research Alternative Jumps Ahead With Parkinson’s Success,” and it appears that it is high time for us to abandon the morally questionable pursuit of embryonic stem cell research.

In this study, scientists at Cambridge used stem cells that were “reprogrammed” from adult skin cells to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in rodents.

All of these developments mean to me that it really is not only unwise, but monstrous, to continue down the failed path of pouring millions (or even billions) of tax-payer dollars into embryonic stem cell research.

No wonder the internationally acclaimed scientist who created “Dolly the Sheep” has said he will not use his cloning techniques to pursue human cloning.

Professor Ian Wilmut’s decision is sending shockwaves throughout the scientific world and has us pro-life advocates rejoicing that at least one researcher won’t put human life at risk.

Wilmut received a license from the British government two years ago to clone human embryos but he now says he won’t pursue it. He says a new method for creating embryonic stem cells by growing them from a patient’s own cells allows scientists to forgo the destruction of human life.

He’s referring to two teams of scientists, one in Wisconsin and one in Japan, that have devised the process that allows for the creation of embryonic stem cells from adult skin cells without the destruction of human life.

“I decided … not to pursue nuclear transfer,” Wilmut told the London Telegraph newspaper. He said the new approach is “easier to accept socially” given the opposition from pro-life advocates to human cloning.

How can our society, scientists, and politicians not agree with The National Catholic Bioethics Center when they say, “(Adult stem cell research) should continue to be pursued and strongly promoted, as they should help to steer the entire field of stem cell research in a more explicitly ethical direction by circumventing the moral quagmire associated with destroying human embryos.”

I couldn’t agree more. But, what do you think?

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