Texas Doctors Group Backs Unproven Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 7, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Texas Doctors Group Backs Unproven Embryonic Stem Cell Research

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
July 7, 2004

Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — In its monthly magazine, the Texas Medical Association has announced its endorsement of embryonic stem cell research, a process in which human embryos are cloned and then destroyed so that stem cells may be harvested.

While the Texas group, which adopted a resolution backing the unproven process in May, appears to be the first medical group to back the destructive research, its resolution cites a little-known position from the American Medical Association.

“The TMA’s endorsement of adult stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research includes references to relevant sections of their parent organization’s (the AMA) policy,” explains Stacey Emick, Legislative Director of Texas Right to Life. “One of references cited by the TMA states that the AMA believes that the implantation of the cloned human embryo for the purposes of reproduction could serve medical purposes in the future.”

“Despite acknowledging such concerns as genetic anomalies, violations of autonomy, alteration of the family unit, and the potential of eugenics and discrimination, the AMA nevertheless claims that creating and birthing human clones is ‘realistic and possibly appropriate’ but should not be undertaken ‘at this time,’” adds Emick.

Opponents of the research point out that, not only is the practice of destroying human life for research unethical, but there have been no scientific advances nor is there hope for the claimed “miracle” cures.

“While some scientists claim that the potential of embryonic stem cells is grandiose and imminent, there are many researchers who admit that available scientific literature does not support these claims.,” Emick told LifeNews.com

“An honest and accurate medical report on embryonic stem cells would admit that researchers have found no cure or treatment for a human disease using embryonic stem cells," Emick explained.

In fact, tumors and terratomas (balls of tissue with hair, eyes and teeth) have appeared in animals treated with embryonic cells. That has discouraged researchers from using them in human clinical trials.

“No such honest report is found in the TMA’s endorsement of embryonic stem cell research,” Emick pointed out. “By enthusiastically promoting embryonic stem cell research, the TMA asks Texas physicians to contribute to the efforts of those who unjustly mislead patients to believe that embryonic stem research will imminently lead to cures for illnesses.”

Emick added that Texas Right to Life has received “an overwhelming response" from physicians and medical students who are outraged by the state medical association’s endorsement.

Last week, Focus on the Family founder and chairman Dr. James Dobson is called the media’s coverage of stem cell research a "scandal."

"To ignore the scientific realities, to fail to report that embryonic stem-cell research is the less promising course of action, to allow people who are suffering to develop false hope about possible treatment breakthroughs, is an unconscionable betrayal of the public trust," said Dobson.

Currently New Jersey has the most extreme pro-cloning legislation in effect, allowing for the cloning, implantation, and destruction of human life from the embryonic through the newborn stages of prenatal development, funded by state taxes.

ACTION: Contact the Texas Medical Association with your concerns about their position. Texas Medical Association, 401 West 15th Street, Austin TX 78701 Ph: 800/880-1300, 512/370-1300. Email [email protected]