Unborn Children May "Cure" Mothers’ Diseases Via Fetal Stem Cells

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 12, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Unborn Children May "Cure" Mothers’ Diseases Via Fetal Stem Cells

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 12, 2004

Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) — Two new studies are providing further argument that embryonic stem cell research is unnecessary because adult stem cells are not only more ethical, but more effective as well.

Researchers at the Tufts-New England Medical Center reported last week that that unborn children may be giving their mothers the gift of life.

As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers have uncovered evidence that fetal stem cells may be migrating from the developing unborn child to diseased tissue and organs in the mother’s body.

Evidence of the curing work of the fetal stem cells has been found in the livers, spleens, and thyroids of pregnant women.

Dr. Diana Bianchi is the chief of medical genetics at the hospital and was the lead author of the paper on the research.

She told the Boston Globe newspaper, "If we can prove these are stem cells, and harvest them from the blood or tissue of a woman who’s been pregnant, they could have therapeutic potential for that woman, her children and perhaps even unrelated individuals."

That could change the entire debate over embryonic stem cell research, Dr. Bianchi said, because the fetal stem cells could be taken from the blood or tissue — ethical sources — and make the cloning destruction of human embryos unnecessary.

Meanwhile, yet another study shows that adult stem cells taken from bone marrow can improve the hearts of patients who have suffered heart attacks.

Dr. Helmut Drexler, of the Medical University of Hannover in Germany, said Friday that the adult stem cells improved the heart’s function.

"Our results lend support to the concept that … bone-marrow cells can be used to enhance … functional recovery in patients," he wrote in The Lancet medical journal.

According to a Reuters report, the patients receiving injection of the stem cells showed a 7 percent improvement in heart function while a control group receiving a placebo showed an improvement of less than one percent.

In August 2001, President Bush issued an executive order prohibiting the federal funding of any new embryonic stem cell research because of the destruction of human life involved.

Some scientists and members of Congress oppose his decision and they have rallying behind legislation that would direct tax dollars to the research, which is opposed by the pro-life community.