Stem Cell Research - 1 Scharar Megan Scharar Abigail...

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1 Scharar Megan Scharar Abigail Wolford English 102 9 December 2011 Stem Cell Research: A Resolvable Issue Imagine a doctor’s office: the linoleum floors, the white walls, and the eerie smell of cleaning products. Now, let’s say that there is someone suffering from a neurological disorder or an autoimmune disease. Perhaps this person is in severe amounts of pain and is unable to live a normal life. They constantly have to see doctors, undergo tests, and are sometimes even too weak to get out of bed. What if this person was you or someone very close? What would you do if the doctors told you that they couldn’t find a cure for your disease because the only form of research that could help had way too many restrictions to make any advancements? What if people against it did not know the growing benefits? Many do not understand that there are pros and cons attached to any form of research, and embryonic stem cell research is no exception. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. There are no known cures for the disease, but there are drugs that are able to slow down the deterioration process. Currently, it is unknown what causes MS, but there are several signs that this disease can be hereditary. This is a crippling disease that affects 2.5 million people worldwide. My mother and my uncle both suffer from this disease. My mother was diagnosed in 2006 and takes Copaxone, a drug that almost stops the disease and
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2 damage but her left leg is almost completely numb. My uncle David has been diagnosed with MS since 1985. He refuses to take any drugs, is now suffering from other disease caused by his uncontrolled MS and has been wheelchair bound for the past 15 years. What does this have anything to do with stem cell research? Stem cell research has shown promising signs of finding a cure for such autoimmune diseases and nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Doctors have informed our family several times that the lack of government funding and the controversy over the topic has put a halt to any further research involving stem cells. Stem cell research has become a popular form of debate and is often not very well understood. Yes, human embryonic stem cell research is removing the embryo prior to fertilization, and is very controversial ( Hook et al. 634) but there are other forms of stem cell research that are being ignored and are thrown into one category, when in reality there are many forms of stem cell research. As a child with a mother suffering from an autoimmune disease that could possibly be cured with finding from stem cell research, it is necessary to delve into the controversial topic and gain a better understanding of the different forms, pros, and cons of the issue.
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