The Debate over Fetal Tissue Research

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The Debate over Fetal Tissue Research Almost all of us would agree that it is the medical fields purpose to do all it can to help relieve and prevent human suffering. This point is not often debated. Taking aspirin, getting a flu shot or a vaccination, or taking antibiotics to feel better are all common in our world. The use of fetal tissue can offer relief to many patients today, but yet these people are not getting the full benefits of what this treatment can offer them. Many people are worried ethically about what will result from this field of research. But fetal tissue research is overwhelmingly beneficial and should be continued and supported despite the arguments against it, as long as some guidelines are set up to regulate the ethical aspects. Properties of Fetal Cells What is it that makes fetal tissue so valuable to research? Due to certain properties of these young cells, they are perfect for a number of uses in medicine and research. There are four main properties that give fetal cells this potential for a successful transplantation. The first property is their ability to grow and proliferate after transplantation. By growing, it is more likely that the transplanted cells will become a functional part of the recipient's existing tissue. In fact, researchers believe that at some point in the future they will be able to grow a full functioning kidney from a few fetal kidney cells. Along with their ability to grow and divide rapidly is the fetal cells' ability to produce trophic substances. These are the growth factors which help the cells to proliferate quickly. They also promote the regeneration of adjacent damaged tissue of the recipient. (Council...Affairs 566) Another significant trait of these c... ... middle of paper ... ...e have. And even with all the arguments, fetal tissue transplantation has so many benefits that it needs to be researched and used to help all those who are suffering that it can. Bibliography Begley, Sharon. "Cures From The Womb." Newsweek 22 Feb. 1993: 49-51. Council on Scientific Affairs and Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. "Medical Applications of Fetal Tissue Transplantation." JAMA 263 (1990): 565-570. Harris, Rod, Ellen Mayo, Jim Tankersly. "An Introduction to Fetal Tissue Transplantation." On-Line. Internet. Available: http://www.gene.com/AE/AE/AEPC/WWC/1992/fetaltissue_transplants.html. Kogan, Barry S. A Time to Be Born and A Time to Die, the Ethics of Choice. Aldine de Gruyter, New York. 1991. Roberston, John A. "Rights, Symbolism, and Public Policy in Fetal Tissue Transplants." Allocations, Social Justice, and Health Policy. 663-673.
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