Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Thursday, March 10, 2005

More Stem Cells

Doesn't look like embryonic stem cell opponents are backing down:

Catholic Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh has issued a pastoral letter saying that it is wrong to kill human embryos for their stem cells, and that research on adult stem cells has more medical promise.
I don't agree with the second part of his argument. Actually I don't agree with either part. see the first part as a moral judgement that reasonable people will disagree on. I see the second part as intellectually dishonest.

"According to the most recent research, adult stem cells have produced 140 successful treatments for 56 diseases," wrote Wuerl, who has become a point man for the U.S. bishops on bio-medical ethics.
Really? The only treatment I can think of from stem cells (adult or embryonic) is stem cell transplant, which is a pretty rudimentary use of stem cells. Here is a quote from an excellent review I noted in my earlier posts on this subject

However, the word "promise" must be underscored — to date, no cures have been realized, no disease mechanisms have been uncovered, and no new drugs have been developed
It seems that pastoral letters aren't footnoted (or available online), so if anyone can provide backing for this claim I'd appreciate it.


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