Stem cells: an Islamic view

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Stem cell research is not the first ten years remains one of perspective directions in medical theory and practice. These cells play an invaluable role in the restoration of blood cells, and strengthen the immune system of patients with such blood diseases such as leukemia and anemia. They can also be used for the treatment of neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, Alzheimer's disease and so on. In General, at the moment the doctors speak about 80 diseases, in which stem cells are able to help.

There are three sources of stem cells:

- Stem cells taken from human embryos in age from 5 days to two weeks.

- Stem cells taken from adults who, more often, "extracted" from the bone marrow. The procedure is done under anesthesia.

- The last and most important source of stem cells is umbilical cord blood, which is a rich source of these cells, it can contain up to 200 million stem cells.

In Islamic countries, stem cell research is also gaining momentum, and the development of proper Gemabank. For example, in Dubai there are public and private stem cell banks in Jeddah is a private company engaged in the collection and storage of cord blood, Gemabank exist in Iran. Moreover, Iran is the second largest in the world for the treatment of thalassemia and stem cell transplantation. In 2012, Dr. Ardeshir Gavamzade, leading Iranian research center cancer, was recognized as the best researcher in the field of blood diseases and cancer. At the world forum on Oncology in the United States, he was supposed to present the award, but because of political differences between the countries Gavamzade not able to receive this award in person. Active stem cell research conducted in Egypt. In Turkey and Malaysia ulema strongly support stem cell research.

Thus, Islamic scientists around the world agree that the cord blood sampling for the extraction and storage of stem cells is allowed from the point of view of religion. However, it is stressed that categorically denied first described by us above the source of stem cells sampling - from a human embryo - when this purpose a woman intends to have an abortion. That is not allowed intentional termination of pregnancy in order to use part of the aborted fetus for donation.

Statement of the Fiqh Council of Muslim World League on stem cells was published in 2003. It said that after listening to the present study on this subject and the views of members, experts and specialists in this type of cells and their sources and how they can be used, the Council took the following action (given in abridged):

First, acceptable obtaining of stem cells and growing them and use for the treatment or research, if the sources are possible. This includes the following sources:

- Adults, if they gave permission and a sampling will not harm their health.

- Children, if their guardians gave permission for the donation, and also if the procedure does not harm the child's health.

- The placenta and the umbilical cord - only with parental permission.

- Spontaneously aborted fetuses (the result of a miscarriage).

It is worth noting that there is another source of stem cells, which is not always mentioned - cloning. But the way is rejected by the majority of Islamic scholars.

Islam-Today

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