Health: Stem Cells, Research, and Abortion

The Story:

President Trump’s recent treatment at Walter Reed for the Covid-19 infection has raised once again an evergreen issue: about the use of stem cells in research, and about the way those stem cells are obtained.

Significance:

In 2019, the Trump administration suspended federal funding for the medical research that made use of stem cell lines that, in turn were harvested from the tissue of aborted fetuses.

After President Trump left Walter Reed, and began touting the benefits of the drug cocktail he had received, the MIT Technology Review reported that Regeneron’s antibody cocktail was developed using cells originally derived from an aborted fetus.

It is as yet unclear whether the benefit such research has bestowed on the President will lead to any change in administration policy as to funding. The phrase “karmic debt” come to mind.

In Pill Form:

Dr. Deepak Srivastava, a pediatric cardiologist who until recently led the International Society for Stem Cell Research, told the New York Times last week, with reference to Trump and other administration officials, “If they oppose this research they should be willing to not take a drug that was developed using that.” One might well regard that as the Quote of the Day.

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