Stem Cell and Fetal Tissue Use Controversy

​​​​Date:  February 2, 2016

Host:   Jim Schneider

Guest:  Dr. David Prentice

Listen:   MP3 ​​| Order

Since the release of the undercover Planned Parenthood videos last summer, there has been a revelation regarding a number of state universities involved in fetal tissue research. This is tissue that’s been harvested, sold most times at a significant profit and sometimes only minutes old as it enters the lab. A number of states have proposed legislation to stop such activity while universities and medical institutions have denounced such legislation claiming that this research is critical to bring about the cures that have been sought for so long. How do we respond to that?

Joining Jim to provide some answers was Dr. David Prentice. Dr. Prentice is the vice president and research director for the Charlotte Lozier Institute. He’s an advisory board member for the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center. He established Stem Cell Research Facts, an educational website providing scientific facts and patient-centered videos about adult stem cells and is a founding member of ‘Do No Harm: the Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics’. Dr. Prentice received his Ph.D. in biochemistry.

What is a stem cell? Dr. Prentice described it as a cell that has 2 chief characteristics. It can keep growing and dividing. Also, if you give a stem cell an appropriate signal, it will specialize into any of the various tissues of the body. So there’s great potential for stem cells to replace or repair damaged tissue.

D. Prentice noted that if you’ve seen any of the videos from the Center for Medical Progress, several of them make reference to the desire to have a lot of liver. The reason for this request is that while a child is still in the womb it doesn’t have bone marrow and the liver is where the stem cells are. So abortion providers looking for fetal livers are not really after liver but fetal stem cells. However, this is unethical because it requires the death of a young human being.

Embryonic stem cells come from those even younger in development. But again, you have to destroy this young life (embryo) in order to harvest the stem cells for experiments.

Both fetal stem cells and embryonic stem cells have not been successful at treating human injury and disease.

Adult stem cells have been the ‘gold standard’ so far in terms of success. These cells are in your bone marrow, they’re in your organs and you have them all of your life. In some cases they’re a bit more limited in that they won’t form every tissue in the body. However, some adult stem cells can form many kinds of tissues. The bottom line? According to Dr. Prentice, there was a paper published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association that documented that as of December of 2012, over one-million people were successfully treated with adult stem cells around the world.

Dr. Prentice noted that sometimes experts will take advantage of the lack of knowledge of others, calling some stem cells ‘adult’ when in fact they aren’t. He recommends that anyone offered adult stem cells ask where they came from in case they aren’t from your own body.

How does the vaccine industry tie-in to this issue of stem cell and fetal tissue research? Since adult stem cells are the ‘gold standard’ and other types have been such a failure, why are universities often in opposition to legislation that would stop the harvesting of fetal and embryonic stem cells? These are just two critical questions that are answered on this Crosstalk broadcast.

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