Embryonic Stem Cell Research: A New Paradigm In Medical Technology

1218 words - 5 pages

Modern medicine has made a remarkable impact on people’s health across the globe. The treatments that scientists have discovered are astounding, without a doubt. Despite all of these amazing discoveries, many of these innovations are, in fact, treatments, and not cures (O’Brien para 5). Now, why is this a predicament? Imagine waking up every day and enduring grueling treatments for blindness, hearing-loss, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or any other known incurable disease; Modern medicine is beginning to limit itself to treating diseases or illnesses temporarily, rather than eliminating them completely (O’Brien para 4; Durant 192). There is reason to hope that stem cell research will be the future of medicine (Durant 1). Research on embryonic stem cells is probably one of the most globally debated issues today (Thomas 4). Both scientists and anti-stem cell research groups can agree that there is reason for debate because on one hand this type of research is halting the life of an embryo, but is also helping develop a cure that could help save many lives in return (Thomas 15; O’Brien para 6). Because of their promising research results, embryonic stem cell research should be widely accepted and the law should allow researchers to study them more in-depth in order to implement their use in medicine today.
Stem cells can be used to treat and cure human tissue that has been damaged or diseased (Thomas 17). Doctors around the world are already successfully using adult stem cells to treat diseases. Adult stem cell use is not often considered controversial because the adult stem cells are donated voluntarily from the bone marrow and other tissues from adult donors (Thomas 18). Embryonic stem cells, however, are much more valuable to researchers and those in need of treatment because they are pluripotent, or able to form any type of human cell (Thomas 18; Campbell 2; O’Brien para 18). Figure 1 below shows examples of stem cell research’s main disease focuses for treatment (Disease 1).
Figure 1 (Disease 1)
Stem cells, if regulated permitted, could be used to replace much more precarious operations (O’Brien para 7). For example, instead of an organ transplant, doctors would insert pluripotent stem cells into the damaged organ and regrow healthy cells that match that organ’s cells perfectly (Thomas 17). This would be a groundbreaking operation in medicine because organ transplants are dangerous and often fail because the cells in the donor‘s organ does not match the recipient’s and the organ rejects itself from the body. However, in the case of using stem cells, the recipient would grow back their own cells (Thomas 17; Thomas 18; Durant 191). The cells would be an exact replica of the recipient’s cells, only healthy. This treatment has been proven in human patients before. Doctors do this by cleaning all of the donor’s cells and markers off the stem cell and inserting the cleaned stem cell into the area needed, avoiding any type of unsafe rejection...

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