Thursday, August 17, 2006
Adult Stem Cells Treat 72 disorders

According to an August 14, 2005, poll, ABC news reported that 6 in ten Americans claim to have some understanding of stem cells, yet some just don’t care. So for the other 4 in 10 who don’t what it is, lets chat. First and foremost, stem cell research is based on the concept of cells that have not yet differentiated and become the specific type of cell that they will become. Take for instance a blood cell - it specializes in blood just as a bone cell specializes in bones. Stem cells much like people have all kinds of potential, but unlike people they don’t get yelled at for not living up to their potential. Stem cells are unique because they have the potential to become any future type of cell.

This is what makes them so important because they can be used to serve as a repair system for the body. Stem cells theoretically can divide without limit so they can replenish needed cells. Stem cell research is founded on the principle that stem cells can become any specialized cell. But, there are several different approaches to obtaining these cells, some of which cross moral boundaries. Most of you are probably wondering why you should care about stem cell research and the purpose lies in the distinction between the two types of stem cells. Stem cells are divided into two dominant categories – adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells come from a live human patient, and scientific research has revealed a higher success rate for those patients using their own stem cells. According to, Adult stem cells have helped cure patients suffering from a variety of diseases including twenty-three types of cancer.

Embryonic stem cells, as opposed to adult stem cells, are extracted by taking a human embryo and removing the cells, which kills the embryo. Scientists have argued that embryonic stem cells have more potential, but where is the potential? There has been no scientific research that shows anyone being helped through the use of embryonic stem cells.

Consequently, embryonic stem cells research has attracted attention in the political arena and herein lies the controversy. Embryonic stem cell research is far too destructive between the existence of life and science by taking an innocent life, so this form of research should be immediately disbanded. Again, no one has been helped through stem cells. According to the International Communications Research Foundation, 70% of Americans do not want their tax dollars invested in stem cell research. All of us should care because our taxes dollars would then not only fund an unproductive form of research but also the death of a human embryo. So, what’s is one human embryo worth anyway? Well, for each stem cell removed, it takes on average five embryos. Yes, for one stem cell to be removed five embryos must die.

Most of these embryonic stem cells are used from In vitro fertilization clinics where 12% of the embryos are discarded. But still, we must not allow ourselves to step down to the level to experiment with human life without that life’s consent. The genesis of the problem is that embryos cannot voice their consent to die for another to supposedly benefit – why are they treated as if they were not even humans? This destructive and completely unsuccessful form of research could quite possibly lead to further experimenting with humans. Even the 2003 book, “Medicine,” introduces a society where organ harvesting of the living is overwhelmingly accepted. Why should we, in another affront again the dignity of life, step down and not voice our opposition to killing? When is killing of an innocent life every justified? Would you actually sacrifice someone else’s life to walk again if you were paralyzed? Would you willingly take the entire life away from dozens of embryos to no avail? There is no rest to the arguments in stem cells today although there are solutions to the stem cell debate.

Ultimately, it comes down to us to know that we are the future of this country. Pope John Paul ll said, “The future starts today, not tomorrow,” and he could very well have been talking to us about stem cells. What can we do in reality to circumvent this ominous problem? We must bring awareness to the success of adult stem cells. Adult stem cells have put Khron’s disease in remission, fixed fractures, and restored a blind man’s sight. Our physicians today rely on the Hippocratic Oath that binds a doctor to take care of their patient to the fullest extent possible. If a doctor were to intentionally kill their patient they would be put into opposition to their solemn oath.

According to the Illinois Right to Life Campaign, most embryos taken to be killed are from IVF clinics and three to five days old. If the clinic knew they would not need these embryos just five days ago why did they waste them? The carelessness of IVF clinics has lead to the death of roughly 6 million embryos. America must be informed; we, American citizens, must care about the building block of life. All of us were once embryos and would you have wanted to die to no avail. America could very well spend their money in better areas then experimental research. In 2001, President Bush stopped federally funding for embryonic stem cells except for 60 existing lines. Today, 13 lines exist, private research is still pouring in, and yet, there is no progress. Let’s move on past the deception of some and realize that adult and not embryonic stem cells are the solution.

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