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Should Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research be encouraged

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					Should Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research be encouraged?

The traditional definition of a stem cell requires the capacity for “asymmetric” cell division (i.e., the stem cell divides into one stem cell and one differentiated cell) After Bjorklund and collaborators in the late 1970s demonstrated that the transplantation of embryonic Dopamine neural tissue, obtained from the fetal ventral mesencephalon, could reverse the symptoms of Dopamine depletion in the unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-treated rat model of Parkinson‟s Disease, Lindvall and Hagell3 launched a clinical program in 1984–1985 to attempt transplantation of embryonic neural tissues into the brains of Parkinson‟s Disease patients. Clinical trials with transplantation of human embryonic mesencephalic tissue into the caudate and putamen (striatum) of Parkinson‟s disease patients were initiated in 1987, and about 350 patients have since undergone transplantation. A great deal of controversy has arisen since it was realized that about 510 embryonic brains were needed for just one transplantation; this controversy is due to the fact that the embryo would have to be “mutilated” in order to exploit these cells which eventually lead to the death of the embryo. This has led to a campaign against advancement of this project, instead people advocate for the usage of adult stem cells which are obtainable from adult bone marrow, cord blood, or peripheral blood but these are less effective, it is really important to share our views on this important subject. Embryonic Stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst, an embryo that is less than one week old. For derivation of human Embryonic Stem cell lines, the typical starting materials are discarded blastocyst- stage embryos from in vitro fertilization clinics; after the completion of in vitro fertilization procedures, residual embryos are donated by couples for Embryonic Stem cell derivations after informed consent. This derivation process renders the embryo nonviable. This I believe tantamount to deprivation of life of the embryo! Certainly as a scientist I know paving a way for Embryonic Stem Cell Research could help improve the health of man, as some argue. But can we justify killing a human being in order to obtain any organ of his to be transplanted

into an ailing person who is desperately in need of an organ? This would doubtlessly be outrageous to every sound mind and the principles underlying medicine and science in general. As Albert Einstein states: "The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle." In the name of ambition and „presumed‟ comfort we shouldn‟t try to deprive an innocent embryo a chance of making it into this world, history has proven that ambitions devoid of sound ethics have led to atrocities that are horrific to talk about, millions of lives have fallen victim to these, some dictators in the name of science committed heinous crimes by using live human beings as experimental animals. Science should not only be centered on the beneficiary at the expense of the life of the benefactor. I agree with Albert Einstein if he says “Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience”. Science and ethics run parallel, if ethically, Human Embryo Stem Cell Research is unsound then why should we derail science? Well this is my view and ready to know yours!

CONTACT: kyei.stephen@gmail.com http://www.scribd.com/groups/view/medical-bloggers


				
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posted:10/7/2008
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