THE ETHICS OF STEM CELL RESEARCH AND THERAPY
The Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research (NCER) supports and encourages research in human adult stem cells (hASCs) (including umbilical cord blood stem cells) and their therapeutic application to debilitating and life-threatening diseases and injuries. Since the harvesting of hASCs does not destroy or harm the donor and since autologous stem cell transplants (those consisting of donor/recipient’s own cells) will not be rejected by the recipient’s immune system, adult stem cell derivation and transplantation promote human life, human dignity, and human well-being. Therefore, with proper consent and compliance with appropriate institutional review board guidelines and medical ethics, the research and therapeutic use of hASCs is ethical.
NCER does not support research in, and therapeutic use of, human embryonic stem cells (hESC) since they (1) necessarily involve the direct destruction of human embryos and (2) provide therapies to persons suffering from a degenerative disease by dismantling—destroying the life of—other persons at their embryonic stage. By violating human dignity and the right to life of embryonic human beings, ESC research and its therapeutic applications constitute unethical science and medicine.