Stem Cells Ethics - Stem Cells- ethics 5/3/06 We are drawn...

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Stem Cells- ethics 5/3/06
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“We are drawn to the subject of stem cells as we are to stories of perpetual motion machines or the fountain of youth; understanding the inner workings of stem cells might help to realize their mythic promise.” l S dli (2001) N t 414 98 Alan Spradling (2001), Nature 414:98
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“I become uncomfortable whenever I hear i th t d ib th i b fit t b claims that describe the precise benefits to be derived from [stem cell] research- especially ht h i t d i t h t il i [ ] when they are associated with a timeline. [] Eventually, we will be able to use our profound no ledge of biolog to gro ne organs that knowledge of biology to grow new organs that can be safely transplanted into human patients the research [on stem cells] is eq all likel []… the research [on stem cells] is equally likely to contribute to cures for cancer and for a large umber of less famous diseases any of number of less famous diseases - many of mysterious origin - that are terrible afflictions r humanity” for humanity” Bruce Alberts (2004), Handbook of Stem Cells
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Potential US Patient Population for Stem Cell- d T h i Based Therapies Condition Number of patients Cardiovascular disease Autoimmune disease i b t 58 million 30 million 6 illi Diabetes Osteoporosis ancer 16 million 10 million 2 million Cancer Alzheimer disease Parkinson disease 8.2 million 5.5 million 5.5 million Burns (severe) Spinal cord injuries 0.3 million 0.25 million Birth defects 0.15 million/year Stem Cell and the Future of Regenerative Medicine, 2004
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Is stem cell research un-ethical?
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What is ethics? • The principles of conduct governing an individual or group; concerns for what is right or wrong, good or ad vice and virtue bad, vice and virtue • Personal code of conduct based on respect for one's self, others, and your surroundings. Human society has generally accepted the “duty to heal” as a universal moral value
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What kind of issues need to be considered to prevent miss-use of SC research • Safety/Public Awareness • Efficacy/Profitability • Equity/Egg donors • Hype oral Status of the Embryo Moral Status of the Embryo
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Is the ban on SC research in the US an ethical or a political issue?
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Does the ESC ban make sense in today’s society? Why isn’t ESC research banned altogether if it’s unethical? Why is it allowed to go on from private but not federal money? hy only 60 ESC lines were allowed hat’s different about lines created Why only 60 ESC lines were allowed - what s different about lines created before and after the date of the decision? Why embryos can be created for IVF, with a clear understanding that a large fraction of them will be discarded? Why is it not acceptable to use these discarded embryos to create more ESC lines? (fear that embryos will be created just for that purpose - to be destroyed) Why is it not acceptable to use tissue from aborted fetuses for cell transplantation? (fear that fetuses will be created just for that purpose) Others argue that this is a fear similar with that encountered in every instance of human progress (airplanes, nuclear energy, etc)
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h d i ti t t d? Where do scientists stand?
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Stem Cells Ethics - Stem Cells- ethics 5/3/06 We are drawn...

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