I should have known that if Hollyweirdos climb over each other to do something, even when the supposed cause is good, it is for ill.
By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the countless tiresome pics and videos of feel-good “celebrities” taking the Ice Bucket Challenge by dousing themselves with a bucket of cold water. Those challenged are supposed either to dump an ice bucket of cold water over their head, or donate to ALS research. The “celebrities” do both, while posting a video of their icy bath.
It’s all about publicity.
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a.k.a. “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) is a fatal, progressive neurological disease. It attacks the nerves that control voluntary muscles, so it is sometimes termed “motor neuron disease”. As the nerves die, muscles weaken and atrophy, including the muscles for breathing; most people suffering from ALS die of respiratory failure. The cause is unknown and at this point there is no cure, and very little that can even slow disease progression.
So, raising awareness about ALS and increasing support for ALS research is a good thing, right?
Sadly, not so.
Writing for LifeNews.com, Dr. David Prentice warns:
So far, most of the attention and millions of dollars in donation have gone to the ALS Association (ALSA). However, the ALSA has admitted that it gives some of its money to embryonic stem cell research and has no qualms about doing so in the future….
As Rebecca Taylor has pointed out, ALSA also has given money to an affiliate, NEALS, that has given money to a trial that uses stem cells derived from the spinal cord of an aborted fetus.
That trial is being run by the University of Michigan and Emory University, and sponsored by a company called Neuralstem which uses aborted fetus cells for research (“from the donated spinal cord tissue of an 8-week-old aborted fetus.”) All of the Neuralstem trials use cells derived from abortion.
Project ALS, another charity for ALS research, also funds embryonic stem cell research.
The plain truth is there is no reason for scientists or doctors to use EMBRYONIC stem cells, typically harvested from aborted babies, because study after study show that ADULT stem cells are just as effective. As an example, please see my post on attorney Mattaniah Eytan, whose terminal leukemia was cured by receiving an ADULT stem cell transplantation at the International Center for Cell Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy (CTCI) in Tel Aviv.
If you do want to donate to a good ALS cause, Dr. Prentice suggests theMidwest Stem Cell Therapy Center (MSCTC) at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He writes that MSCTC does not do any embryonic or aborted fetal stem cell research, only ADULT and NON-EMBRYONIC stem cell research and clinical trials. The center is planning a potential future trial using adult stem cells for ALS.
Dr. Eowyn’s post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.