Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

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Title: Fetal Tissue for Research?

Category: Child Care


The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the use of fetal tissue for research. They, like most medical unions, tend to be very open-minded and liberal, at least in a scientific sense. I personally disagree with the stance of the AAP on this issue because I feel strongly that it will encourage abortions. When there is a financial incentive for abortion, it is just one more factor promoting it. In a recent New England Journal of Medicine issue, there were several papers presented on the use of fetal tissue transplants for treating Parkinson's disease and for further research on Alzheimer's disease.

There have been a few cases where using fetal tissue injections for patients with Parkinson's has improved their condition. Perhaps other diseases could also be treated with fetal tissue from the fetuses central nervous system or other organs. Does this justify aborting fetuses to obtain the wanted tissue? I firmly believe it does not. Other options to obtain such tissues include miscarriages, of which there are hundreds of thousands annually. Getting the needed tissues from miscarried fetuses certainly is not easy but it is an option and an alternative.

I hope that as a society, we will continue to use our creativity to come up with constant improvements in caring for the diseased and suffering. I hope that in doing so we will not promote the death of any human being, even the pre-born, to accomplish that objective.