It turns out the Church’s position on this issue was (once again) wise.
Adult stem cells are now being hailed as “the gold standard” for treatment of a variety of conditions.
From The National Review:
During the Great Embryonic Stem Cell Debate, circa 2001-2008, I watched “the scientists” blatantly lie about the supposedly low potential for adult stem cells and the CURES! CURES! CURES that were just around the corner from embryonic stem cells. You remember: Children would soon be out of their wheelchairs and Uncle Ernie’s Parkinson’s would soon be a disease of the past.
The pro-ESCR campaign was filled with so much disinformation and hype — willingly swallowed by an in-the-tank media — all in a corrupt attempt to overturn the minor federal funding restrictions over ESCR imposed by the president, and to hurt President Bush politically.
After the Bush presidency, the issue became quiescent. And now, it turns out that the clinical advances that have been made are not from embryonic stem cells…
From “Adult Stem Cells:”
Not only do adult stem cells carry no ethical baggage regarding their isolation, their practical advantages over pluripotent stem cells have led to many current clinical trials, as well as some therapies approved through all phases of Food and Drug Administration testing.
Peer-reviewed, published successful results abound, with numerous papers now documenting therapeutic benefit in clinical trials and progress toward fully tested and approved treatments. Phase I/II trials suggest potential cardiovascular benefit from bone marrow–derived adult stem cells and umbilical cord blood–derived cells.
Striking results have been reported using adult stem cells to treat neurological conditions, including chronic stroke. Positive long-term progression-free outcomes have been seen, including some remission, for multiple sclerosis, as well as benefits in early trials for patients with type I diabetes mellitus and spinal cord injury. And adult stem cells are starting to be used as vehicles for genetic therapies, such as for epidermolysis bullosa.
The USCCB explained Catholic teaching on stem cells several years ago:
Sometimes it is wrongly said that the Catholic Church opposes stem cell research. In fact, the Church supports ethically responsible stem cell research, while opposing any research that exploits or destroys human embryos.
Because the Church opposes deliberately destroying innocent human life at any stage, for research or any other purpose, it opposes embryonic stem cell research as currently conducted. However, when scientists proposed avenues for possibly obtaining embryonic stem cells or their pluripotent equivalent without creating or harming embryos, Catholic leaders were among the first to welcome this idea.
The Catholic Church has long supported research using stem cells from adult tissue and umbilical cord blood, which poses no moral problem. Catholic institutions at times have taken the lead in promoting such constructive research, which is already providing cures and treatments for suffering patients.
There’s more at the link.