The use of umbilical cord banks for clinical and research purposes

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2011 (Zenit.org)- The excerpt from the address Pope Benedict XVI delivered 26/02/2011 upon receiving in audience to the 17th general assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life concerning the use of umbilical cord banks for clinical and research purposes.

"Medical-scientific research is a value and, hence, a commitment, not only for researchers but for the whole civil community. The result is the duty to promote ethically valid research on the part of institutions, and the value of the solidarity of individuals in the participation of research directed to promote the common good.

This value, and the necessity of this solidarity, are very well evidenced in the case of the use of stem cells from the umbilical cord. They are important clinical applications and promising research at the scientific level, but for their realization many depend on the generosity, on the donation of blood of the cord at the moment of birth, on the part of the women who have just given birth. Hence, I invite all of you to be promoters of a true and conscious human and Christian solidarity. In this connection, many medical researchers rightly regard with perplexity the growing number of private storage banks of the blood of the cord for exclusive autologous use. Such an option -- as the works of your Assembly demonstrate -- in addition to lacking a real scientific superiority in relation to the donation of the cord, weakens the genuine spirit of solidarity which must constantly animate the search of that common good to which, in the last analysis, science and medical research tend."

Source: http://www.zenit.org/article-31870?l=english, with permission of Zenit.org.


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