After eight years of the Bush era, Americans who are pro stem cell research can finally have hope that they can hold onto. President Barack Obama signed an executive order today that will reverse the ban on funding stem cell research..I know there are many Americans who disagree with research because it is unethical, but I don’t see it the same way.
In case you were unaware what stem cell research is, I will give a short explanation based on my knowledge of it. I would recommend that those reading this should look up more info about it. Stem Cells are blank cells that can become any type of cell from muscle to nerve cells. There is controversy over the use of embryonic stem cells, but embryonic cells are not the only way to pull stem cells, however they are the most usable. Adult stem cells can come from Umbilical Cords, Placentas and Amniotic Fluid. They can also be pulled from adults including the patient for which it is being used on from their bone marrow, liver, epidermis, retina, skeletal muscle, intestine, brain, dental pulp, even fat from liposuction and others. They can also be available from people who have passed away up to 20 hours after. Some say it is unethical to kill a embryo and I agree, however, how many people who have already been born have to die because we are unwilling to make a couple of sacrifices.
Last year, it is estimated that 750,000 Americans traveled outside of the country to receive medical treatment. I thought America had the best hospitals in the world and I was right, however the lack of stem cell research makes it impossible for Americans to get the care that they deserve. Now that Obama reversed the ban, I hope that more people will see all that stem cell research can accomplish once it is made available. I am not going to sit here and try to be non-objective about this subject. I fully support stem cell research because I have been affected by illnesses of both my parents.
My father was diagnosed with a malignant (cancerous) brain tumor in March 1997. I was only 13 years old at that point. He fought cancer on and off for 11 years. Five brain tumors and colon cancer became too much for him and he passed away on July 6, 2008. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008 there was just under 1.5 million new cases and just over 550,000 deaths from cancer. Isn’t that enough of an impact for stem cell research to be an important policy for the country. Over 1/2 million people died from cancer who could have had a chance if we funded stem cell research. Cancer must have touched almost every American at some point in their life.
For me, it isn’t just about cancer. My mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1990 when I was 6 years old and has been living with it since. It has greatly impacted my life and the lives of everyone who knows us. The National MS Society believes that with proper research using stem cells, there is great hope that they will be able to find a cure for MS. I blogged about Accelerated Cure which is a Non-Profit Organization that is dedicated to finding a cure for the disease. In less than a month I will be participating in the MS Walk to help raise money for a cure.
Can this executive order be the beginning of the end for diseases that affect millions of Americans around the country. Besides cancer and MS, stem cell research can make way for other illnesses like spinal cord injuries, brain damage, heart damage, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and many others. Can we finally focus on our futures rid the world of these illnesses? If we can, we will be on our way to be the most respected country in the world for medical treatment.