Our stem cell donors are selected only after the medical history of both birth parents and child have been thoroughly evaluated by their private physician, our laboratory medical experts, and our clinic physician. Even after donor selection is completed, the umbilical cords that are used by Trinity are thoroughly tested to confirm they are free of contaminants, viruses, infections, fungus, and defects. The Wharton’s jelly-derived mesenchymal umbilical stem cells used by Trinity are not only of the highest medical and genetic quality but they are also only obtained with full consent of the donor parents during a planned caesarian section birth performed in a licensed and certified hospital surgical environment. Immediately following birth, the umbilical cord is chilled and packaged by the medical practitioner and shipped to our laboratory for processing and expansion.
It is normal and common for patients and families to have many questions about how umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells are obtained and about the morality of their use.
We want to dispel some of the rumors and myths, and give you the facts on mesenchymal stem cell therapy
Our bodies are flowing with our stem cells. Stem cells in general can be obtained from a person’s blood, fat tissue, or bone marrow. However, a more potent source of stem cells is from the umbilical cord. These can come from either umbilical cord blood or Wharton's Jelly interstitial cells. We avoid ethical and blood type mismatch issues by using mesenchymal stem cells that are obtained and expanded from Wharton’s Jelly, which is found inside the umbilical cord of a newborn child. It is these (and only these) umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells that we use at our Trinity clinics. This is the exact reason why you hear so much from the medical community recommending and encouraging parents to “bank” or save and cryogenically freeze the umbilical cords of their children following birth. This procedure provides the perfect match for any additional needs the child may have later in life and offers a close genetic match for other family members in need.
It is common for patients of various faiths to ask “is it morally right” to use stem cell treatments?
Mexico and numerous countries around the world, including Europe, Middle East, and Asia all acknowledge the potency and efficacy of umbilical MSCs. These and other countries all routinely encourage and advance the use of Wharton’s jelly umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cells for treatment of patients with various types of conditions and treatments. Because these Stem Cells are not from blood, there are no blood type incompatibility issues and are more safe. We believe that our Stem Cell treatments are safe, natural, and morally just! Trinity supports, encourages and desires to provide our quality medical assistance to all races, genders, ages and faiths. We want to serve all who come through our doors in need.
What about Christian beliefs?
In an effort to provide clarity on this issue, we would like our Christians patients and their families to feel confident in knowing that “yes”, in fact “it is morally right” and “it is morally just” to use ethically obtained, and ethically sourced umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of conditions and symptoms in the human body.
For those Christian who would like to see biblical support, we would refer them to the Bible which clearly supports healing. In truth a large part of the bible is about Jesus’ ministry for healing. (Matthew 4: 23-24) The biblical principal is that it is our duty as Christians to help our fellow man, and avoid anything that will cause harm. It is a noble pursuit to cure disease and alleviate suffering.
The Catholic Church stand on stem cells
It has often been wrongly stated that the Catholic Church opposes stem cell research. Quite the opposite is true. The Catholic Church completely supports ethical and responsible stem cell research. This support directly applies to the use of ethically sourced and ethically obtained stem cells derived from adult tissue and umbilical cord blood. In point of fact, Catholic institutions have often even taken the lead in promoting constructive stem cell research. This ethical research is already providing for cures and treatments of many long suffering patients.
This is absolutely false. A large part of this controversy is from some non-ethical research done on human embryos many years ago. This goes against God and humanity. All stem cells are now ethically harvested from your own body, or from umbilical cord blood by parental consent.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The National Institute of Health has put billions of dollars into stem cell therapy. On December 13, 2016, President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. This Act included provisions intended to assure timely regulatory review of regenerative therapies, including cell therapies enabled by stem cell therapy research. House members also voted in favor of legislation to promote the use of adult stem cells. The bill also provides funding to use stem cells from umbilical cord blood.
Unfortunately, this likely has been done in the past as have many other medical procedures, but this has been blown way out of proportion. Stem cell therapy is now fully certified and accredited and done in reputable hospitals and clinics. Next-Generation Stem Cell Therapy is truly the future of medical treatment!
Embryonic Stem Cells
Embryonic stem cells are derived using stem cells from embryos that are about one week old. Researchers are interested in embryonic stem cells because they are new cells and are easily manipulated to become virtually any type of cell and blood type. However, in order to harvest these stem cells, the embryo is usually destroyed. As Christians we know that embryos are human life, and it is morally reprehensible to justify the killing of an embryo for any reason. The biblical teaching is that human existence begins at conception (Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:4-5). The international consensus of embryologists also agree with Scripture in that life begins at fertilization. At the moment of conception, the embryo is 100 percent human, with all 46 human chromosomes and a fully functioning and unique genetic code. Size and location do not determine life. Christians including the Catholic Church oppose any stem cell research that exploits or destroys human embryos. We must respect life at all times!
Induced Pluripotent often referred to as (IPS) are ethically harvested without destroying human life. IPS cells are usually taken from the skin because they are easy to harvest. These adult cells are then mixed with retroviruses that causes the adult cells to revert back to stem cells. Research has shown that these stem cells act like embryonic stem cells because they can also differentiate to all other cell and blood types. Since the process requires the cells to be manipulated, or induced, to reach the stem cell state, they are referred as induced stem cells. Additionally, with their capability of differentiating to all other cell types, they are also considered pluripotent.
Adult stem cells exist all through the human body. These stem cells are found in various organs, tissues, fat bone marrow, and even skin. Many positive results have occurred using a patient’s own stem cells, and well over 70 human conditions have been successfully and ethically treated this way. The downside is that unlike embryonic and IPS cells, adult cells have the disadvantage of being the same age as you are and are not as easily manipulated. Still, amazing and astonishing results have been achieved using and this ethically accepted stem cell treatment.
Umbilical Stem Cells
Umbilical Stem Cells are stems derived from the umbilical cords of new-born babies. The benefits of umbilical stem cells are tremendous. The safest, most potent, and most effective form are the umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s), from Wharton's Jelly interstitial tissue. These are non-hematopoetic (Not from umbilical blood). It is these MSCs that we use exclusively at all Trinity Stem Cell clinics.
First these MSC stem cells are always ethically obtained from consenting birth parents through an agreement with their medical practitioner, and as such are derived from a completely non-controversial source. The MSC stem cells also have the added power of youth. They are “new” and adaptable to any blood type, plus these cells are promoted by both Christians and pro-life organizations since there is no loss of human life. These vital stem cells have been used to help patients suffering with leukemia and other blood disorders, as well as many other disabilities including Autism. Unfortunately, there is a general lack of awareness about umbilical blood cord harvesting and the potentially wonderful benefits for what is truly a gift of life. As more of these cords are saved, more stem cells become available for research. This will likely lead to finding cures for many other diseases in the very near future. Parents-to-be are urged to consider having this new umbilical cord, and umbilical cord blood, publicly donated and/or “banked” for their own child’s future since it is quite obviously a perfect genetic match. Another added benefit is that it is also a close genetic match for the immediate family, and a great stem cell source for other relatives of the newborn. This ethical humane process to have umbilical cord blood either privately banked or publicly donated will likely soon become a standard medical procedure.
The bottom line is that Wharton’s jelly umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell use (MSC’s) is in fact both ethical and moral.