Sunday, Paul Elias with Associated Press published this that I caught at WashingtonPost.com. Apparently researchers at Wake Forest University and Harvard University have found that amniotic fluid is a rich source of stem cells that “hold much the same promise as embryonic stem cells.” You’d think that this would be the best news since sliced bread ! And the study shows that placentas carry the same stem cells rich with promise.
But like a dog with a bone that just won’t let go, researchers bent on unfettered, unrestricted, and full access to our dollars just won’t give up and applaud the recent success of the Wake Forest and Harvard discovery. Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientist at the stem cell company Advanced Cell Technology is quoted as saying this about the new stem cells found in amniotic fluid, they “can clearly generate a broad range of important cell types, but they may not do as many tricks as embryonic stem cells”. By tricks, does Lanza mean they don’t have that nasty problem of forming tumors? Exactly what kinds of tricks and how many of them does Lanza want these embryo stem cells to perform? Dr. George Daley, a Harvard University embryo cloning researcher, said, “While they are fascinating subjects of study in their own right, they are not a substitute for human embryonic stem cells, which allow scientists to address a host of other interesting questions in early human development.” Daley sounds like he’s talking about a piece of art. Fascinating subjects of study! We’ve just been told that this new discovery has found stem cells with the same promise and yet it is not enough. The truth is, it will never be enough.
Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.