Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Do You Think The Message Will Sink In...?

Pax Christi 3 from Temple Cleansers has drawn attention to the following report in California Catholic Daily: it seems that embryonic stem cells are not producing the treatment breakthroughs expected from them.

As the article in California Catholic Daily states:

Those who opposed the destruction of human embryos for research, including the Catholic Church, were derided as being “anti-science.” But as advances in the treatment of diseases and medical conditions using adult stem cells multiply daily and the technical limitations of embryonic stem cells remain, it appears that the Church’s morally correct position was scientifically correct. These advances, well known to scientists, have not been given the attention in the mainstream media, although they are having to sit up and take notice.

Furthermore, an article in the San Francisco Weekly raised serious concerns about the side effects resulting from the use of embryonic stem cells, citing the case of

...a teenage boy who had traveled from Israel to Russia... for an implant of neural stem cells to treat a rare degenerative disease. Four years after the procedure, according to the study, the therapy hadn't worked, and the transplanted stem cells had morphed into a brain tumor.

The article continued:

As Kriegstein shuffled through his papers, looking for the report, he explained his fear that current efforts in California to create stem-cell–based cures, which he views as premature, could have similar results.

"The likelihood of something going wrong is pretty high," he said. "Something like tumors are probably going to happen. This is an area where the risks are great. The public has to be prepared."

Arnold Kriegstein is in charge of the Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of California, San Francisco. Kriegstein's research facility is one of the biggest of its kind in the world.

Other scientists report that their understanding of stem cells has failed to yield the benefits promised for severe degenerative diseases. Although this is widely ignored by the mainstream media, human embryonic stem cells have been described as a substance akin to poison when they are not tightly controlled. Their potential for developing into any tissue type is also their greatest potential danger. Embryonic stem cells, implanted in mice, have often been seen to create teratomas (potentially cancerous tumors that can sprout hair and teeth), as the cells mutate and multiply into the various organs they can create.

So, given this lack of progress, why are there so many calls for more money to be spent on embryonic stem cell research, along with the ever-increasing drive to use so-called "spare" embryos from IVF treatments?

The California Catholic Daily has a chilling answer:

In a November 20, 2007 article in First Things, Joseph Bottum opined: "I have long suspected that science, in the context of the editorial page of the New York Times, was simply a stalking-horse for something else. In fact, for two something-elses: a chance to discredit America’s religious believers and an opportunity to put yet another hedge around the legalization of abortion. After all, if our very health depends on the death of embryos, and we live in a culture that routinely destroys early human life in the laboratory, no grounds could exist for objecting to abortion."

Anyone care to lay bets on how long it will be before the mainstream media and our politicians catch on?

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