Letter to the editor: Fetal tissue research crucial
The recent decision of the Trump administration to curtail fetal tissue research is detrimental to the further development of life-saving therapies (“Trump administration imposes new restrictions on fetal tissue research,” June 5, TribLIVE). Fetal tissue research not only helps scientists develop therapies to prevent disease, but also treat existing diseases. Without fetal tissue research, vaccines preventing polio, rubella and measles, would not have been developed, placing millions of children at risk of disease.
Continuing fetal tissue research has the potential to advance treatment for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, human immunodeficiency virus and the Zika virus, helping improve the quality of life of those afflicted and providing scientists further insight into human development.
Although there are ethical objections, placing limitations on fetal tissue research could potentially cost lives. Furthermore, fetal tissue from legally obtained elective abortions and excess frozen embryos from in vitro fertilization would simply be discarded as medical waste. It would be unfortunate to discard fetal tissue as medical waste instead of utilizing it for life-saving research.
The writer is a nurse.