WASHINGTON, August 3, 2004 ( – Over 2,000 doctors associated with the Christian Medical Association signed a letter sent Friday to Congress and the President urging investment in adult stem cell research that is already providing therapies for patients.  Executive Director David Stevens, M.D. noted, “As the nation’s largest faith-based organization of physicians, we have a vested interest in such research because we care for patients every day who desperately need cures that might arise from regenerative medicine. We also have the motivation, knowledge and experience to analyze stem cell research without the inherent bias of fund-seeking firms and researchers who have hyped embryonic stem cell research far beyond scientific integrity.”  Stevens said, “Cloning human beings for stem cells—as Ron Reagan Jr. urged in his convention speech—would produce abnormal embryonic stem cells while exploiting women to gain the millions of human eggs needed for human cloning. Ron Jr.‘s speech was ‘political science’ of the worst sort.”  Stevens noted, “We want to see cures quickly as our patients do. Adult stem cells are giving results now, but even the most optimistic predictions put any possible help from embryonic stem cells 10-15 years away. Adult stem cell treatments are economical while embryonic stem cells are prohibitively expensive. Private investors are not investing in these so called miracle cures, so scientists seeking fame and fortune are making outrageous promises and using gullible celebrities to help them pick the public’s pocket.  The CMA doctors’ letter emphasized scientific evidence demonstrating that human embryonic stem cells have proven difficult to develop and maintain, are unstable and mutate in culture, often act abnormally and tend to form cancerous tumors.

The letter highlighted adult stem cell benefits: “Verified accomplishments of adult (non-embryonic) stem cell research are already providing hope and therapy for patients suffering from heart muscle injury, diabetes and brain damage from stroke—with realistic promise for treating other diseases on the horizon.”  jhw