Venice

Judge orders stem-cell treatment for toddler, ruling delayed

Two-year-old Celeste Carrer 'in risk of death'

Judge orders stem-cell treatment for toddler, ruling delayed

(ANSA) - Venice, August 22 - A Venice court on Wednesday decided to allow controversial stem-cell treatment for a two-year-old girl in order to save her life while a final decision on her care was put off until next week. Lawyers representing the family of toddler Celeste Carrer said judge Margherita Bortolaso ordered "an immediate infusion of stem cells with the method already applied". The judge put off a final ruling until August 28. Over the past year and a half, Carrer has received stem-cell transplants from her mother's bone marrow to treat her spinal muscular atrophy, which causes her muscles to waste away. The toddler reportedly was able to move her neck, arms and legs after treatment before a Turin prosecutor launched an investigation into the Stamina Foundation, the stem-cell research group that carried out her treatments at a hospital in Brescia, northern Italy. Police raided the hospital in May, blocking treatment for numerous other patients, according to staff. Stem-cell treatment, which is legal in Italy in life-threatening instances, is contentious since it sometimes involves the destruction of a human embryo. Italy banned the use of embryos in stem cell research in 2004 and in 2007 Italian researchers obtained adult stem cells they said were just as good as embryonic ones.

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