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Children’s Responds to Boston Globe Op-Ed

On November 14, 2010, The Boston Globe published an op-ed by Raymond L. Flynn, Mayor of Boston from 1984 until 1993, sharing his thoughts on embryonic and adult stem cell research. The article can be viewed online here.

We appreciate Mr. Flynn’s interest in understanding the difference between different types of stem cells, and we are confident that our staff will do all in their power to help his grandson thrive. At Children’s Hospital Boston, we have been doing scientific analyses of different types of stem cells for years. While adult stem cells from the bone marrow are promising in their own right and being aggressively studied at Children’s, they are unfortunately only suited to the treatment of blood diseases. Adult stem cells of the bone marrow are very different from embryonic stem cells and cannot serve the medical needs of our patients with brain, heart, and muscle diseases, to name but a few. The life of a child is very different from the life of cells in a petri dish; the child needs much more from us as doctors and researchers. The Stem Cell Program at Children’s Hospital is committed to pursuing the most promising medical research, which includes human embryonic stem cells that are derived from microscopic embryos consisting of a few dozen cells that will otherwise be discarded as medical waste. Such research is widely endorsed by the international bioethics community as respectful of human life and morally justified.

Leonard Zon, MD and George Q. Daley, MD, PhD

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  • Stem cell policy at a glance

    1996: The Dickey Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for the creation or destruction of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes.
    August 9, 2001: President George W. Bush’s Executive order bans federal funding of research on any new embryonic stem cell lines
    .
    July 7, 2009: The National Institutes of Health issues new guidelines on human stem cell research.
    December 2, 2009: The NIH under President Barack Obama announces that it will fund research on 13 embryonic stem cell
    lines created since August 9, 2001.

  • Embryonic stem cell research: the facts

    What happens to eggs and embryos
    in stem cell research? Learn more.