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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bush Signs Umbilical Stem Cell Bill Into Law

[Media Source*]

(The Christian Post) President Bush today signed into law a bill that will allow umbilical cords to be used for stem cell research and avoid the controversy over embryonic stem cells. [...]

"So many people don't realize that cord blood and adult stem cells are already treating patients, and have achieved remarkable breakthroughs over the past year," [Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.)] stated.

Despite the non-controversial potential of umbilical stem cells, many hospitals have been unable to use them due to the inability to house the umbilical cords. This law will remove that excuse by providing $265 million for life saving stem cell therapy, with $79 million going towards collection and storage.

(The Christian Post) The national program will also promote stem cell research by requiring participating cord blood banks to donate units not suitable for transplant to researchers and scientists. [...]

"Unlike the empty promises of embryonic stem-cell research, cord-blood stem cells provide patients with real treatment and cures," Wendy Wright, Executive Vice President of Concerned Women for America, noted yesterday in a statement released after Congress passed the bill. "Thousands of patients will have more than just their hopes realized--their lives will be saved and suffering relieved, because this law will make ethical cord-blood stem cells available to them."

Congress hopes this bill will alleviate 90% of the demand of stem cells within the nation, and many pro-lifers hope that this bill will kill the need for embryonic stem cells (a practice requiring the destruction of life to benefit life).

Although the stem cell debate has divided America into what has become an increasingly hostile culture war, both parties should be able to put aside their differences and hopefully work together to develop useful treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cancer.

Image Credit: White House/Paul Morse, Image from The Christian Post

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Good point. There are however a few other things many people should be aware of. Most know that cord blood banks collect, process, test and store the donated umbilical cord blood for the public use, taking into account the great number of people who are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases each year. Therefore, cord blood banks look after expectant mothers, informing them about the importance of their umbilical cord blood and the possibility of helping some people who suffer from terrible diseases. Nevertheless, the information and sensitizing of the population is not fully achieved as in the case of simple blood donation. Cord blood stem cell transplants are considered in order to replace blood marrow transplants. The possibility of finding the match for the patients in need increases, as in 2001 the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies stated that roughly 20,000 American lives were saved through transplants of stem cells. I’ve covered some other aspects related to this topic on my website, Cord blood information - please let me know if you find them useful.


Michael Rad

By Anonymous Michael Rad, at 5:18 AM EDT  

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