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Stem Cells Are The Future Of Healthcare

1305 words - 5 pages

A mother cannot remember her children’s names anymore because of Alzheimer’s diseases. A daughter will never be able to walk again because of a car accident that has made her paralyzed from the waist down. A husband will never be able to see his wife again because he has become blind. But maybe these people will be able to remember, walk or see again. Someday all of the diseases in the world may be curable through stem cell research. Stem cells are very unique because they have the ability to morph into any of the over 200 cells that make up the human body. For the past 50 years scientists have been trying to understand the true potential of stem cells. Nichols (2001) explained that, it was not until 1998 when scientist James Thomson of the university of Wisconsin isolated living stem cells from embryos using in-vitro fertilization (p.44). That was a major breakthrough in stem cell research. Scientists are now able to use embryonic stem cells to treat or cure diseases, but they are far from perfecting it to use on humans. The process of generating stem cells is done by the fertilizing of an egg through in vitro fertilization. If the embryo is healthy then it is divided and is multiplied several times. Then the embryo is destroyed and the stem cells are used. The ethical issues surrounding stem cell research have a major impact on continuing medical research. As humans we must rethink the ethical issues and focus more on the potential benefits of stem cell research.
Embryonic stem cells are much more unique then the less controversial, more common multipotent stem cells. Multipotent stem cells like umbilical cord blood and bone marrow stem cells are restricted generating only a number of tissues. Embryonic stem cells are categorized as a pluripotent can be generated into any of the 200 or so tissues that make up the human body (Nichols, 2001). Embryonic stem cells that are used for research come from embryos that are created from in vitro fertilization. The embryos that were no longer needed for reproductive purposes are donated for research with the consent of the donor. Many are against embryonic stem cells research because the embryo is destroyed after it is used, but otherwise the embryo would not be used and the embryo would have no benefit. Using the embryos for research could someday cure major diseases.
The benefits of embryonic stem cells could create medical miracles. What many of us thought was once impossible would be possible with embryonic stem cells. One of the most intriguing benefits of embryonic stem cells is the ability to treat or even cure the most common diseases such as; Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injuries, stroke, burns, heart diseases, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. “For example, it may be possible to generate healthy heart muscle cells in the laboratory and the transplant those cells into patients with chronic heart disease”(Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and...

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