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Saving Lives, Easing Pain Why We Should Support Stem Cell Research

915 words - 4 pages

Saving Lives and Easing PainDo you know anyone with a disease that is incurable? I'm not just talking about cancer, or AIDS, I'm talking about rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and spinal cord injuries. These are the diseases that do not get national attention in the media everyday. These diseases are the ones people live with and cause pain that kill from the inside out.At age 17, my mother was injured playing basketball in high school. She had broken the lower vertebrae in her back, which severed the lower part of her spinal cord. She had to have the lower vertebrae in her back permanently fused together. Doctors told her she would never walk again. Eventually she did walk again, but she is still living with pain everyday of her life. My mother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 25. This prevents complete mobility and causes constant pain in her shoulders, arms and legs. Currently there is no cure for such injuries, but there are also those who are preventing a possible cure.The first step towards a cure is embryonic stem cell research. Embryonic stem cells are early stages of cells that can be developed into specialized cells. Embryonic stem cells can "morph into any one of the 220 types of cells and tissues in the human body" (Devitt University of Wisconsin). For example, heart, lung, and muscle tissue can be developed, as well as producing nerves in the spinal cord (N.I.H.). I feel that we are letting people watch their lives pass them by, and not even trying to save them. Why then, aren't more people supporting embryonic stem cell research, if it has this ability?Of course we don't want to see people suffering with a disease, or worse, dying from a disease. The debates arise over where embryonic stem cells come from. Embryonic stem cells are obtained from human embryos, which are either from aborted fetuses, or fertilized eggs left from in vitro fertilization processes (N.I.H.). In order to extract embryonic stem cells, scientists must use very young human embryos that are only about 7 days old (the blastocyte stage) (N.I.H.) Opponents feel that the use of these fertilized eggs is the killing of human beings, and should not be justified by any means. I agree that preserving human life is most important. But the fact is, these eggs and fetuses eventually will be discarded or frozen indefinitely.Being that embryonic stem cells come from aborted fetuses, scientists and medical researchers are not encouraging abortions just to obtain stem cells. I feel that, as long as women have the choice of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, the embryonic stem cells are available. Therefore, I feel that using these embryonic cells for research to cure hundreds, even thousands of people, would be more sensible and productive in the end.Heart disease, lung disease, stroke,...

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