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Biomedical Ethics in a Brave, New World

Dennis Trammell Pastor of the First Baptist Church at
Possum Kingdom Lake, near Graford was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999
when his vision decreased in one eye, a symptom of multiple sclerosis called
optic neuritis. Over the years he has been receiving numerous conventional
medications that dealt with the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. However in July
2008, his illness advanced to the secondary progressive phase of the disease.
Having no treatment options available, two months later, he went to the
Cellmedicine clinic to receive adult stem cell therapy.

To date over 200 patients with multiple sclerosis have been
treated with adult stem cells by Cellmedicine. Adult stem cells such as those
derived from the patient’s own fat have the ability to help the nervous system
heal itself from damage, as well as "reprogram" the immune system to stop
attacking the body. This is explained in a scientific publication that
Cellmedicine and collaborators from the University of California San Diego have
and is
explained in this video

Alluding to the controversy surrounding stem cells, which
was particularly relevant to Pastor Trammell, he stated, "I really questioned
before agreeing to take part in the treatments what type of stem cells were
used". Several stem cell clinics use fetal-derived stem cells. Pastor Trammell
highly objected to this possibility based on moral principal. From a medical
perspective fetal stem cells are dangerous given the possibility of cancer
formation. Accordingly, he was pleased to learn that that Cellmedicine clinic
uses only stem cells from adult sources.

The Pastor reports a significant increase in his energy
level, "I had gotten to the point where a nap was needed on a regular basis. But
since the treatment, a daily nap is no longer needed," he said. Other multiple
sclerosis patients treated at Cellmedicine have reported similar beneficial
effects. Holly Huber from San Diego suffered from loss of balance,
incontinence, fatigue and like Pastor Trammell, optic neuritis. Here is a video
of Holly describing her story

The issue of using stem cells is considered by many
stakeholders in the religious community. "We’re still dealing with the age-old
question: "Given what can be done, ought we?’ But the list of ‘can-do’ options
in health care get longer each day; hence, also the ‘ought’ questions and the
complexities of knowing right from wrong, good from bad," said Tarris Rosell,
professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Rosemary Flanigan
Chair in the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Mo.

However, it seems like adult stem cells are not only
acceptable, but in some cases endorsed as an alternative to embryonic stem
cells. This is highlighted by the recent funding of adult stem cell research by
the Vatican

Take the first step towards the healthier life you deserve.