Adult Stem Cell Awareness

May 13, 2008

Fr. Berg fighting for even-handedness at Empire State Stem Cell Board

Last year Fr. Thomas Berg, founder of the Westchester Institute, was appointed to the ethics committee of the newly formed Empire State Stem Cell board. I wondered (aloud) if he would be able to be a positive influence as a voice not just for alternative sources of stem cells, but for the larger field of adult stem cell research. Well, now we know! Kudos to Fr. Berg for this National Review article, “New York’s $600 Million Dollar Question” :

My intense exposure to the field of stem-cell research over the past eight years has too often revealed a largely unsubstantiated bias favoring work on human embryonic stem cells over other types of research — especially work on adult stem cells. And today, this is a bias turned scientific and political ideology, one that too often dominates the imaginations of those who hold the purse strings on private and State funding.

Editing to note that Don Margolis has blogged this article, too. For those looking for sickle cell anemia news, it’s worth your while to check out Fr. Berg’s article for information about Dr. Lubin’s research. As a carrier of this trait, I know that adult stem cell therapies are “where it’s at” for sickle cell disease (and so many others) . . . but apparently CIRM can’t absorb that inconvenient truth.



  1. At the Bioethics International Conference at the UN Plaza on Friday, Fr. Berg was the voice of reason on a panel discussing the ethics of health care professionals refusing to perform certain procedures (ie abortions). He spoke eloquently on the necessity for the primacy of natural law, and took his fellow panelists to task for their inconsistent positions.
    For example, when they defended the ethics of a minor seeking abortion without her parents’ knowlege or consent, Fr. Berg asked why a 14 year old girl could be confidentially referred for an abortion by her school nurse without a murmur, yet if she smoked or had a weight problem she would surely incur a lecture from the same nurse. From the looks of the faces of fellow panelists, they never saw it coming!

    Comment by Leticia Velasquez — May 29, 2008 @ 4:03 am | Reply

  2. Excellent point. And how about the fact that a 14 yr. old can’t even get Tylenol at school without parental consent?

    Comment by chelseaz — May 29, 2008 @ 10:01 pm | Reply

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