While remaining sensitive to the ethical concerns raised by the destruction of day old human embryos, scientists have long viewed embryonic stem cell research as perhaps the best hope for finding cures for debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. But the inconvenient fact that human beings had to be conceived in order to furnish these stem cells was no deterrent to high profile likely beneficiaries and their families and advocacy groups.
The Public Library of Science notes this is the first documented case of a human getting a brain tumor after embryonic stem-cell therapy, even though the tumor is slow-growing and benign. A team of scientists at Tel Aviv University tested the tumor tissue and confirmed it was the embryonic cells.
Dr. David Stevens of the Christian Medical & Dental Association notes that other people are traveling to other countries for treatments using embryonic or fetal stem cells and ending up with worsened conditions.
"They definitely are experiments, and these are desperate people being preyed upon by people trying to sell miracle cures," he explains. "Unfortunately that same approach is being used to sell this whole line of embryonic stem-cell research to the American people, promising miracle cures if we'll just fund this type of research."
© Janet Crain
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