Mercoledì, 24 Aprile 2019
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ROME

Italian cabinet approves current stem cell treatments

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© ANSA

Rome, March 21 - Controversial stem-cell medical
treatments that are already underway should continue, despite
court rulings to the contrary, Health Minister Renato Balduzzi
said Thursday.
The cabinet decision means the continuation of stem-cell
treatments, including that of a toddler at the Brescia hospital
in northern Italy.
"The (decision) is based on the ethical principle that
medical treatment which has already started without serious side
effects should not be stopped," said Balduzzi.
A ministerial regulation clarifying treatment details will
be issued in the coming, the health ministry said.
The decision comes after a recent ruling by a Venetian
court that a life-saving treatment for local toddler Celeste
Carrer should continue in the Brescia hospital.
Those treatments, using stem-call transplants from her
mother's bone marrow, began 18 months ago to halt the spinal
muscular atrophy causes the toddler's muscles to waste away.
Celeste was reportedly able to move her neck, arms, and
legs following an early treatment.
However, her treatments were halted last May when a Turin
prosecutor launched an investigation into the Stamina
Foundation, the stem-cell research group that carried out her
treatments.
Police raided the hospital, blocking treatment for numerous
other patients, according to staff.
Stem-cell treatment, which is legal in Italy in
life-threatening instances, is contentious because it sometimes
involves the destruction of a human embryo.
Italy banned the use of embryos in stem cell research in
2004, but in 2007 Italian researchers obtained adult stem cells
which they said were as effective as those obtained from
embryos.

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