To the editor:
This is the season that glorifies life and our children celebrate new life with a search for eggs, the essence of life.
But over the last few months especially we have been listening to the debates in regard to abortion, the killing of life, some even advancing a notion that it has positive research benefits. The argument is that fetal stem cells from both miscarriages and abortions are needed for the further research and treatment for disease. That is an unproven and ignorant assumption. But what is clear is the fact that one human, albeit in the womb, will be killed so as to offer supposed benefit for another already living. How selfish to consider murder at any time a benefit.
I would argue that the research done so far shows embryonic stem cells offer little in advancing medical research in comparison to that already established through adult stem cell recovery and umbilical cord stem cell preservation. In the latter the researchers recover umbilical cord stem cells immediately after an infant is born. The wide ranging benefits are already on record. The cord otherwise would have been disposed of heretofore being considered as of no value. The ongoing research is already proving that there is really no need to "breed" in-vitro embryonic cells when stem cells from adults and umbilical cord tissue and blood could help repair damaged bone, cartilage, tendons, muscles and combat chronic inflammation as well as address such illness as leukemia and diabetes in addition to a myriad of others.
So where might I ask is there justification for the taking of embryonic fetal cells, some of which are purposely "cultured?" Is the sole purpose research or might it be the furtherance of cloning? I would oppose both for neither offers a moral value. In fact induced pluripotent stem cells (somatic cells) have been found as possessing the same pluripotent characteristics of embryonic stem cells - and they are not obtained from embryos, eggs or cloning.
"The world has changed ... It is the beginning of the end of the controversy that has surrounded this field ... Over time, these (induced pluripotent stem) cells will be used in more and more labs. And human embryo stem cell research will be abandoned by more and more labs." (Boston Globe)
I could not agree more and hopefully the argument that abortion is of value for any reason and especially to retrieve viable and needed stem cells will one day be recognized not as a benefit or a truth but be seen for the evil it really is.
Mrs. Diane L. Logan