Center for Bioethics and Culture

Dear Senator Shafer:

Senate Bill 148 has just come to my attention and I whole heartedly endorse this bill on behalf of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network.

Our organization works tirelessly to promote and advance ethical scientific and medical progress in order for cures and treatments to be developed for patients and their families.  Last year we highlighted the successes of Professor Colin McGuckin whose team of scientist grew the first artificial liver from umbilical cord blood stem cells.  Also the establishment of the largest newborn stem cell bank in the world was set up after the bipartisan passage by the U.S. Congress and Senate of the Stem Cell and Research Act of 2005, which paved the way for the creation of a national data bank of umbilical cord blood.

Working in pediatric nursing for almost 20 years I am excited to see the therapies already benefiting patients using cord blood stem cell transplants.  Diseases like Sickle Cell Anemia and many of the blood cancers like leukemia are being treated today using umbilical cord blood stem cells. What wonderful news for these children and their families!

I work collaboratively with bi-partisan groups and this is an area where we can work across the political spectrum.  Feminist colleagues of mine, who are concerned about the use and abuse of young women and their bodies for egg harvesting for embryo cloning research are happy to endorse advances which don’t develop cures to benefit some at the harmful expense of another.  And umbilical cord blood research is not encumbered with the bio-patent agenda many progressives abhor.

During the birth of one baby we have access to three sources of stem cells.  Umbilical cord, placental and now amniotic fluid!  The time has come for the passage of Senate Bill 148 and I applaud your leadership in advancing this legislation on behalf of the citizens of Georgia.


Jennifer C. Lahl
National Director
The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network