Will it ever happen?


| 3 Comments

Stem cell research. It's something we've all heard a lot about over the past several years, and for good reason. The benefits of stem cell research and their potential healing power would revolutionize medicine, and while there are people who are against it use because of ethical reasons, there is no denying the potential benefits. Already knowing this information, I stumbled upon an article today on ESPN written about the famous surgeon, Dr. James Andrews. Whenever you hear of an athlete going down with an injury and going to see Dr. Andrews, you can almost guarantee that it is a serious injury. Andrews is responsible for most of the surgeries performed on ACL tears, Tommy John surgeries, you name it, if it is a season ending injury, you can bet Andrews did the surgery. With that in mind, it puts Dr. Andrews in a position where his opinion on a matter like this has to be taken seriously.

 

james andrews.jpg

In the article, which mentions that Andrews has treated the likes of Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, and both of the Manning brothers, the author of the article, Chris Jones, writes that while Andrews has been revolutionary in his surgeries for ACL's and other joints, he continues to work because of possibilities of using stem cells because of their capabilities:

         

          Stem cells are unique in that they can become any other type of cell, including that    

elusive articular cartilage. They are the universal part. Embryonic stem cells -- what most people think of when they think of stem cells -- are set with religious and political traps, but adults carry stem cells too. Andrews mines them from the marrow in the patient's pelvic bone and then injects them directly into the damaged joint. That's the only stem cell procedure the FDA presently allows -- the self-donation of unaltered adult stem cells. (Jones)

 

Even though embryonic stem cells are still illegal to use, the use of the adult stem cells mentioned by Jones have shown to be extremely effective, and that fact, hopefully, will give more evidence that the use of stem cells could be groundbreaking.

 

Andrews also says in the article that one the reasons he still works is because, "He had long predicted that stem cell therapies would be routine by now. Today he hopes that another decade might be enough and that he will still be working whenever his prediction finally comes true" (Jones). The article also raises another point, the fact that stem cell laws are different in Europe, many players are now going overseas to get procedures done that aren't legal in the United States. Andrews' hope is that one day, they won't have to.

 

What do you think, is it worth exploring the potential of using stem cells? Is it ethical? You decide for yourself, but if a doctor as famous as Dr. James Andrews is on board, it certainly makes you wonder.

 

 

 

http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/8681969/orthopedist-james-andrews-treated-drew-brees-matthew-stafford-more-espn-magazine-interview-issue

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell

 

http://stemcells.nih.gov/

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Andrews_(physician)

 

3 Comments

The term 'stem cell research' has been coined with such negative feedback because of the connection with embryonic research, where the cells are taken from the embryo which in turn, kills it. I am also highly against this means of getting stem cells because it kills something with the potential of life. However, I find stem cells research outside of embryonic cells perfectly reasonable. It's a great discovery that we can derive stem cells from adults because it removes the ethical problems along with the research.
Also, I found an article that shows that we can get stem cells from umbilical cord blood. The reason this is mostly looked past is because umbilical cord blood was believed to only cure diseases of the blood; however, scientists are now finding that the stem cells in umbilical cords can grow into other kind of cells other than blood cells as well.
Stem cells seem to be almost miraculous in many instances, and I believe they are worth looking into.

Here is the link to the article I found regarding umbilical cord stem cells.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/04/0406_060406_cord_blood.html

Like Rebecca stated, I am against embryonic stem cell research and it is ashame that people struggle to understand the difference between the two. Stem cell usage has already proved successful, and although ethical at this point in time. What I hope does not happen and would be extremely unethical is that stem cell research leads to producing human beings the way we want them to be. This would be intruding on God's power! At this point, all things seem to be okay.

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