The ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’: Charitable Giving that respects Human Dignity
Many people have been doing the ‘ALS Ice Bucket’ challenge, an American charitable comedy-initiative in which someone is videoed being dowsed in cold water, and nominates others whom they challenge to do the same, as a means of raising awareness of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) – which in the U.S. is more commonly called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’ – and raising funds for medical research into finding treatment for that condition.
Such activity in support of helping those with a terrible degenerative disease is laudable. Those who support human dignity and the right to life need, however, to be careful to whom they donate their money in support of this effort, as many organisations actually waste funds on the unethical and inefficient scientific dead-end that is embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). ESCR is unethical because it destroys a human being in their most vulnerable state, and inefficient because it is a more complicated and costly procedure that has never yielded a single unique medical advance.
In contrast to ESCR, adult stem-cell research (ASCR), which uses stem cells derived from the cells of adult human beings, is cheaper, easier, and has delivered a panoply of medical treatments. If really interested in helping people who suffer from MND then, we really encourage all supporters of the right to life to donate intelligently to organisations that support ethical and successful medical research.
Here are six possibilities:
- The Mayo Clinic is engaging in adult stem cell research to develop treatments for Motor Neurone Disease, already have one ongoing clinical trial for MND patients, and are ready to initiate a second. A link at the top of the page allows you to donate support.
- The Cell Therapy Foundation specifically promotes adult stem cell research. On their website, you can donate in a directed way to specific research, including for MND (again, called ALS in the United States).
- The Adult Stem Cell Technology Centre, LLP is a for-profit company that develops new methods for growth and application of adult stem cells, and does not support ESCR.
- The recently set-up Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Centre is starting an increasing number of clinical trials and educational efforts, and includes Dr. Rick Barohn, an internationally-recognised MND expert, on its advisory board.
- Compassionate Care ALS supplies much-needed care and treatment for people living with MND (as opposed to scientific research and the development of therapies for the condition).
- The John Paul II Medical Research Institute supports ethical medical research.
Please share this information on social media and with your friends, and let RTL know about any other ethical alternatives you think would be helpful.