Saving Lives, Easing Pain- why we should support stem cell research

Essay by BecksterCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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Saving Lives and Easing Pain

Do you know anyone with a disease that is incurable? I'm not just talking about cancer, or AIDS, I'm talking about rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and spinal cord injuries. These are the diseases that do not get national attention in the media everyday. These diseases are the ones people live with and cause pain that kill from the inside out.

At age 17, my mother was injured playing basketball in high school. She had broken the lower vertebrae in her back, which severed the lower part of her spinal cord. She had to have the lower vertebrae in her back permanently fused together. Doctors told her she would never walk again. Eventually she did walk again, but she is still living with pain everyday of her life. My mother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 25. This prevents complete mobility and causes constant pain in her shoulders, arms and legs.

Currently there is no cure for such injuries, but there are also those who are preventing a possible cure.

The first step towards a cure is embryonic stem cell research. Embryonic stem cells are early stages of cells that can be developed into specialized cells. Embryonic stem cells can "morph into any one of the 220 types of cells and tissues in the human body" (Devitt University of Wisconsin). For example, heart, lung, and muscle tissue can be developed, as well as producing nerves in the spinal cord (N.I.H.). I feel that we are letting people watch their lives pass them by, and not even trying to save them. Why then, aren't more people supporting embryonic stem cell research, if it has this ability?

Of course we don't want to see people suffering with a disease, or worse, dying from a disease. The debates...