Our neighboors were over last night (his wife is pregnant), we got into the subject of cord blood banking. They asked me if I banked my son's cord blood and I told them no I donated it. She immediatly got upset and said you "You know that they use donated cord blood for stem cell research!" My immediate reply was that yes I do know, and that is part of the reason why I donated it in the first place. This obviously upset her and she felt the need to sit there and lecture me and give me religious quotes and things of that sort. My question to ya'll is: Would you donate your child's cord blood if you knew if would be used for stem cell research?
Embryonic stem cells are a primitive type of cell that can be coaxed into developing into all of the 220 types of cells found in the human body (e.g. blood cells, heart cells, brain cells, nerve cells, etc). They are derived from human embryos in a process that causes the death of the embryos. Adult stem cells bear some similarities to embryonic stem cells. Research using adult cells has a two decade head start on embryonic stem cells. Thus, potential treatments have already advanced to human trial stage. Unfortunately, adult cells are limited in flexibility. Many pro-lifers believe that human life, in the form of an ovum and spermatozoon, becomes a human person at the time of fertilization. Thus, killing an embryo in order to extract its stem cells is a form of homicide. They are generally opposed to such research. Others disagree. They believe that an embryo has the potential to develop into a person, but is not a person itself. They note that an embryo is not sentient; it has no brain, sensory organs, ability to think, awareness of its surroundings, consciousness, internal organs, arms, legs, head, etc. They feel that research using stem cells derived from embryos is ethical.
Yeah she does sound a little misinformed. But anyway, I read a couple of days ago that in a new study, German researchers isolated stem cells from the testicles of adult men and turned them into bone, muscle, neural, and other kinds of cells. Like other methods of stem-cell research, this presents the potential to develop treatments of degenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
So this sidesteps the ethical controversies of using embryonic cells, and the doctors say if a man's own cells were used to make a therapy, they could be used to treat him without fear that his body would reject the cells.
Well, when my boys were born they were just talking about this so no we didn't donate it. When my daugter was born my husband and I discussed banking it and decided instead to donate it. My reasons were that, if it can help to save someone's life then why not do it. Maybe researchers will be able to come up with cures for all kinds of diseases just from people donating their cord blood.
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Adult stem cell research is good, but it's a complement, not a substitute for other stem cell research. Adult stem cells are nowhere near as versatile, and research isn't nearly as far along.
But, according to this question you can get stem cells from the cord blood? So, you dont have to kill the embryo? I guess I am just a bit lost. Lol. I'm completely interested though!
If someone could maybe point me in the direction of a good website on stem cell research on cord blood that would be great. I really want to know more!
Yes, it's rather difficult to see why even a hardcore religious nut would have a problem with stem cell research being done on cord blood.
I really wish I had an opinion on this, but I do not know much about stem cell research at all. Could someone enlighten me?
Honestly, that's what confused me about why she got upset. I think maybe she is misinformed.