Purchase the book Right to Recover

Right to Recover ~ Winning the Political and Religious Wars Over Stem Cell Research in America presents scientific facts that challenge readers to think for themselves rather than accept political or religious views on stem cell research.


This book is available by request in bookstores nationwide.

RIGHT TO RECOVER is an Award-Winning Finalist in the Current Events: Political/Social of the National Best Books 2007 Awards. Amazon Best-selling book in biomedical category.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Ethics of Stem Cell Research

On July 21, 2007, Mirko Petricevic wrote an article for THE RECORD titled "Stem cells and the meaning of life." The article is very long. You may want to read it in its entirety.

Sometimes debate about the ethics of stem cell research can get downright dirty. Margaret Somerville, founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law in Montreal, recalls one particularly graphic example.She was taking part in a public debate, she said, when her opponent shoved his finger up his nose.

He then raised his hand and declared that a human embryo had no more moral status than the mucus on the tip of his finger. The gesture was actually fairly lighthearted and the audience laughed, Somerville said. But it also illustrated the crux of a high-stakes debate, one in which the possibility of developing miracle cures to alleviate human suffering is pitted against how we view, respect and disrespect life itself.

The human embryo -- a woman's ovum fertilized with sperm -- and the stem cells contained within it are at the heart of the debate. Stem cells are some of the body's basic building blocks -- they can grow into blood, organs and various other tissues. Stem cells can be found in adults, aborted fetuses, placenta and umbilical cord blood. Bone marrow transplants are one form of stem-cell therapy. Stem cells in marrow can create new blood, so they are often injected into cancer patients whose marrow has been destroyed by chemotherapy.

Many scientists argue that stem cells extracted from human embryos are the Holy Grail in the quest to create treatments for illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. And the sooner scientists can develop therapies, they argue, the sooner they can relieve peoples' suffering. Scientists who favour using stem cells from a human embryo say those stem cells show more promise than those from other sources. Embryonic stem cells multiply faster, grow for longer durations, can survive being frozen and then thawed for research purposes, and have been made to grow into a greater variety of cells than adult stem cells.

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