The Detroit News is reporting on a controversy surrounding the stem cells used to treat NHL legend Gordie Howe. Howe suffered a stroke on October 26, 2014 and was in declining health. He received stem cell treatment in December, and family members share that his condition has improved a great deal.
The source of the controversy is that the company behind the treatments, Stemedica, didn’t initially reveal some of the stem cells came from an aborted fetus.
The paper adds that Dave McGuigan a VP at Stemedica told The Detroit News and other media in February that “only adult stem cells were used” in the injections Howe received at a clinic in Mexico. However, in a separate investigation, Stemedica told USA Today that some of the stem cells used for Gordie Howe were from a fetus that was aborted at approximately 15 weeks.
When interviewed by USA Today, Stemedica’s President, Maynard Howe (not related to Gordie Howe) stated, “We just don’t want to get people confused about what it is. They’re really considered legally adult stem cells even if they’re fetal-derived.”
Soter Healthcare’s Position
While legal definitions may permit Stemedica’s position, there are moral and ethical issues as well as matters of law. It is crucial that medical and stem cell providers be clear about the sources and types of stem cells being used. If the information reported by The Detroit News is correct, we view this as a significant breach of trust and ethical conduct. We simply think more is required.
We believe as a matter of faith that life begins at conception. We recognize that many of clients have religious and ethical concerns of their own, and we try to respect them in all we do. Consequently, Soter Healthcare has a specific agreement with our stem cell medical providers at both the lab and the hospitals, to use only Respect for Life Stem Cells™. This is our assurance that no stem cells derived from abortion in any form will be used. We believe this is the only contract of its kind in effect today. The fetal cells we obtain and use come following miscarriage, stillbirths or premature infant mortality. To make sure there are no safety issues for a patient, all stem cells are checked and rechecked to make sure they are disease and infection free before treatments.
Being true to our convictions and making sure you always know the type and source of stem cells used in your treatment is how we do business. Anything less is unacceptable.
What do you think?