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Faye Isabelle C.

Villalva IV-10

January 24, 2013

Regenerative medicine: Perspective on Stem Cell Therapy The seminar was one enlightening and useful lecture that enhances the ideas of Thomasian nursing students regarding Stem cell therapy. Stem cells, as we know, are precursors of all blood cells; reside primarily in bone marrow. But what we know about it is that its part of our body. And when we are putting additives in our body, we are destroying or damaging the natural process of our body, thus violating the natural law. Dra. Edna Monzon talked about facts about stem cell therapy and the ethical concepts related to it. She stated that stem cells are capable of self-renewal and differentiation; they continually replenish the bodys entire supply of both RBCs and WBCs. Some stem cells, described as totipotent cells, have tremendous capacity to self-renew and differentiate. Embryonic stem cells, described as pluripotent, give rise to numerous cell types that are able to form tissues. She also mentioned that some research has shown that stem cells can restore an immune system that has been destroyed. Stem cell transplantation has been carried out in humans with certain types of immune dysfunction. Clinical trials using stem cells are under way in patients with a variety of disorders having an autoimmune component. Research with embryonic stem cells has enabled investigators to make substantial gains in developmental biology, gene therapy, therapeutic tissue engineering, and the treatment of a variety of diseases. Like whats trending/ developing nowadays, famous people and rich individuals are using stem cell as part of their beauty enhancement. However, along with these remarkable opportunities, many ethical challenges arise, which are largely based on concerns about safety, efficacy, resource allocation, and human cloning. With regard to this issue, a funny but remarkable comic strip was shown to us, students, through powerpoint which struck my mind, stating that use of embryonic stem cell therapy is unethical. It may destroy the natural process of death and may kill numbers of unborn child (in

terms of using embryonic stem cell therapy). Which made me think that, why do researchers continue to search for and test stem cell therapies, well in fact it is unethical and may actually cause unexpected or unnecessary outcomes? Although she answered this saying or directing us to think that (not verbatim), The researchers are weighing the pros(benefits) and cons(harm) of using stem cell therapy in managing/treating certain conditions and its uses now and in the future, its not yet acceptable partly to my mind and heart of using this kind of management. Part of this issue also are the following: (1) When does a human being begin to exist?; (2) The moral status of human embryos; and (3) The case of doomed embryos (When spare embryos exist after fertility treatment, the individuals for whom the embryos were created typically have the option of storing them for future reproductive use, donating them to other infertile couples, donating them to research, or discarding them). It is unfair or unjust to ignore or pay no attention to these ideas, which in fact are essential to each one of us. In its most basic form, the central argument supporting the claim that it is unethical to destroy human embryos goes as follows: It is morally impermissible to intentionally kill innocent human beings; the human embryo is an innocent human being; therefore it is morally impermissible to intentionally kill the human embryo. While Dra. Jackie Dominguez discussed more about Alzheimers disease and the relationship of stem cell therapy to mental functions of human mind. She mentioned the percentage of people suffering from alzheimers disease and the proportion of patients with declining memory or mental capacity. Alzheimers Disease (AD) is one of the most distressing illnesses that the human race has ever faced. It literally destroys the brain, which shrinks as a result over time. It is the third time that I heard of the word Immunosenescence. She said that it is a complex route in which the aging process stimulates changes in the immune system. The immune system undergoes age-associated alterations that lead to a progressive deterioration in the ability to respond to infections and other conditions. The capacity for self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells diminishes. There is a notable decline in the total number of phagocytes, coupled with an intrinsic reduction in their activity. She also mentioned of the possible approaches of using stem cell in treating Alzheimers disease. One possibility is to use

stem cells to regenerate or literally re-grow diseased parts of the brain. This is what people most commonly think of when they conceive of treating AD with stem cells. The problem with this approach is that the structure of the brain is physically integral to memory so even if we could grow a fresh, young part of the brain to replace one damaged by AD, there would be no memories there. And you cant just simply inject or give stem cell directly to the brain, the stem cell needs to flow and pass by other parts of the body, which may be affected or damaged by the injected stem cell as it pass by. Listening to the lectures made me realized that although Im already a graduating student, it is still needed or important (for me and to others) to find more information and/or knowledge with regards to our body, its parts, functions, management, treatment and important facts about it. Learning is a continuous process and we should keep in mind the learning experiences and thoughts that we gathered, in our daily living. After hearing those information mentioned by the speakers, I therefore conclude that, even though stem cell therapy is beneficial in preventing the effects of aging, I still wont employ or support the use of stem cell therapy.