Abortionist Becomes Pro-Life Champion
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
November 25, 2008
The barrier-breaking transplant into a woman of an entire organ made from her own stem cells is “marvelous news,” says a consultant for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Claudio Castillo, 30, of Barcelona has shown no signs of rejecting her new windpipe after it was placed in her chest in June in the Spanish city, The Independent reported Nov. 19. Researchers used stem cells from Castillo’s blood marrow to grow the replacement organ, which was combined with a donated trachea for the transplant. Four months after the surgery, she was able to take care of her two children, go dancing and climb two flights of stairs, activities that previously had been impossible for the tuberculosis patient, according to the British newspaper.
The successful transplant again demonstrates the promise of non-embryonic stem cells, which have produced treatments for at least 73 human ailments, according to Do No Harm, a coalition promoting ethics in research.
Embryonic stem cell research (ESCR), meanwhile, has been heavily promoted over the last decade, but it has yet to provide any therapies for human beings and has been plagued by tumors in lab animals. Even more significantly, extracting stem cells from an embryo requires the destruction of the tiny human being. Removing non-embryonic stem cells does not harm the donor.
“There is every reason to hope that research using a patient’s own cells will be the most promising way to develop effective therapies,” said C. Ben Mitchell, a consultant on biomedical and life issues for the ERLC. He is a professor of bioethics and contemporary culture at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in suburban Chicago.
“The moral advantage is that this development is something everyone can celebrate-a genuine advance in every way,” he said. “It’s yet another reason to take the ethical high ground and refuse to cannibalize human embryos for their stem cells. Hopefully, President-elect Obama’s bioethics transition team is paying close attention.”
Obama, however, recently named an ESCR proponent, University of Pennsylvania ethics professor Jonathan Moreno, to head the President’s Council on Bioethics review team. Most observers expect Obama to rescind President Bush’s ban on federal funding of the destructive research.
The use of Castillo’s own cells provided another watershed-she became the first whole-organ transplant patient not to require immunosuppressant drugs, The Independent reported.
“This is just the beginning,” said Martin Birchall, a British member of the research team, according to the newspaper. “In 20 years’ time the commonest surgical operations will be regenerative procedures to replace organs and tissues damaged by disease with [self-grown] tissues and organs from the laboratory.”
Abortionist in deaths of 48,000 babies now pro-lifer
A doctor who performed 48,000 abortions is now a pro-life champion in Serbia.
Stojan Adasevic, who did as many as 35 abortions a day for 26 years under the communist regime of the former Yugoslavia, converted to the pro-life cause after a series of dreams, he told the Spanish newspaper La Razon, according to the Catholic News Agency (CNA).
Adasevic “dreamed about a beautiful field full of children and young people who were playing and laughing, from 4 to 24 years of age, but who ran away from him in fear,” he said, CNA reported. “A man dressed in a black and white habit stared at him in silence.”
“Why don’t you ask me who these children are?” the man in the dream told him, Adasevic said. “They are the ones you killed with your abortions.”
The man identified himself as Thomas Aquinas, the well known 13th-century Roman Catholic theologian, according to the report. The abortion doctor, however, had never heard of Aquinas, he said.
After one of the dreams, Adasevic awoke and decided to quit doing abortions. That day, however, he performed one more-on the girlfriend of a cousin who came to the hospital and requested it, according to CNA. She was four months pregnant, and it was her ninth abortion. During the procedure, the unborn child’s heart came out still beating. He knew he had killed a human being.
He notified the hospital he would not perform another abortion, making him the first doctor in communistic Yugoslavia to refuse the practice, CNA reported. As a result, half of his salary was cut, his daughter was fired from her job and his son was prevented from enrolling at a university.
Adasevic returned to the Orthodox faith of his boyhood and became an important voice in the pro-life movement. He is “the most important pro-life leader in Serbia,” according to CNA.