Two women, who were formerly paralyzed but treated with the use of adult stem cells, attended a press conference yesterday to demonstrate the effectiveness of adult stem-cell treatment as opposed to embryonic stem-cell treatment.
In the current debate on the issue, some members of the scientific community insist that adult stem-cell research is not as effective as embryonic stem-cell research. However, the Catholic Church and pro-life organizations are against embryonic stem-cell research since it would involve the destruction of an embryo, that is, human life. They believe that embryonic stem-cell research is not an ethical solution to treat ailments and illnesses.
Republican Senator Sam Brownback conducted yesterday’s press conference and made the case in favor of adult stem-cell research. The Kansas senator introduced Laura Dominguez and Susan Fajt, two women with severe spinal cord injuries, who were treated with adult stem cells.
Dominguez was a quadriplegic at 16 after a car accident severely damaged her spinal cord. However, due to treatment using her own olfactory sinus stem cells, Dominguez can now walk with the aid of braces. A car accident also left Susan Fajt paralyzed, but she, too, can walk with braces today because of experimental new adult stem-cell treatment.
The two young women “are a powerful witness against the embryonic research PR machine," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.
“Adult stem cells and other ethically acceptable alternatives have already helped hundreds of thousands of patients, and new clinical uses expand almost weekly,” said the statement issued by the USCCB. “In fact, non-embryonic cell therapies have quickly moved forward to perform many of the tasks once thought to be possible only with embryonic stem cells.”