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    Fetal tissue transplants Essay (1461 words)

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    Is the transplantation of nueral tissue considered anThe transplantation of human fetal neural tissue intothe brains of humans suffering from progressiveneurodegenerative disorders is one of the hottest argumentscurrently being debated.

    Fetal neural tissue is being usedas a possible treatment for some diseases. The treatmentand possible cure for many of these diseases falls upon thesuccessful transplantation of fetal neural tissue from thebrain, spinal chord and peripheral nervous system. Some ofthe possible beneficiaries of these transplants would bethose with Parkinson’s disease, a common neurodegenerativeFetal tissue transplantation involves injecting fetaltissue obtained through electively aborted fetuses intoanother human being. Because fetal tissue deemed mostappropriate and acceptable for transplantation is primarilyobtained from elective abortion procedures, many concernshave arisen in the public, political, and scientificcommunities. It is because of their unique characteristicsthat fetal cells are far more ideal for use in tissuetransplantation than tissue derived from an adult donor. Fetal tissue grows much faster than tissue obtained from anadult donor, a few fetal cells from a donor have thepotential of replacing a large number of host cells.

    Fetal tissue transplantation is a relatively newprocedure that has a rather large history behind it. Thefirst attempts to transplant human fetal tissue into patientstook place in the 1920’s. The first major success usingfetal tissue to treat a medical condition was in the 1950’swhen a vaccine for polio was developed. There was relativelylittle public concern about the use of fetal tissue until thelate 1980’s when the procedure of fetal tissueIn 1988, researchers in New Mexico reported in TheNew England Journal of Medicine their results of human fetalneural tissue into the brains of patients suffering fromParkinson’s disease. This case later became well known asthe La Roza case.

    In their report on a transplantation offetal tissue substantia nigra, the tissue was transplanted inthe caudate nucleus of a fifty-year old male with a nine yearhistory with Parkinson’s disease. Prior to thetransplantation procedure, he was suffering from severesymptoms associated with the latter stages of the Parkinson’sdisease, particularly severe muscle rigidity and tremor. Three months after the transplant there was considerableimprovement in his tormenting symptoms. As a result of theprocedure, his ridgedness and tremors decreased noticeably. Also, the patient was able to control his remaining symptomswith a much lower dosage of medication then before. In response to the apparent success of the La Rozatransplants and initial hints of a possible breakthrough curefor Parkinson’s disease, US medical scientists had decided tojoin the race to cure this terribly debilitating ailmentthrough fetal neuro-tissue transplants.

    They realized,however, that any truly legitimate effort would requirefederal funding. It was the request from the NationalInstitute of Health (NIH) for funding for human fetal tissuetransplantation research that ignited intense researches intothe procedure of fetal tissue transplantation in the UnitedWith this tremendous breakthrough in biomedical sciencethat may someday relieve the suffering of millions of peoplewith various neurological inflections came great controversy. Intense moral and ethical debates surround the use of fetaltissue for research and transplantation procedures. Debatesbegan soon after the United State Supreme Court legalizedabortion in Roe v.

    Wade and continues to this day with debatein congress concerning the passage of the Morris K. Udall Bill, which upon passage will provide one-hundred milliondollars a year for Parkinson’s disease research. In March 1988, Robert Windom, a strong Right to Lifesupporter, rejected the NIH’s funding request and issued amoratorium on federal funding for research on fetal tissueobtained through induced abortions. This effectively stoppedall research on fetal tissue in federally fundedlaboratories.

    Even though the moratorium only applied tofederal funding, in reality it stopped all legitimateresearch involving fetal tissue because of the enormous costsassociated with a single operation easily exceeding $50,000. Private researchers were discouraged and unwilling to take achance on such expensive experiments without the likelihoodof being reimbursed for their time and expense. In support ofthe moratorium, President Bush stated that the ban was not anabsolute ban on fetal tissue research, nor was it banningfederal funding of all types of fetal tissue research. Hereiterated that the moratorium was only applicable to federalfunding of fetal tissue research obtained from inducedabortions. Federal funding could still be obtained forresearch using tissue from spontaneous abortions(miscarriages), ectopic pregnancies and stillbirths. Inconclusion, President Bush stated that the Nation’s bestinterest would not be served through granting federal fundsfor research that was “promoting and legitimizing abortion”and which is deemed “morally repugnant” to many Americans.

    In May 1992, in an attempt to appear sympathetic to theneeds of medical science while not alienating its close tieswith the anti-abortion groups, President Bush’sadministration agreed to establish a fetal tissue bank. Thebank would collect tissue from miscarriages and ectopicpregnancies and distribute fetal tissue to medicalresearchers. However, for a variety of reasons, theestablishment of a fetal tissue bank would not be able toprovide the quality or quantity of tissue necessary for mostOne of Bill Clinton’s first official duties as Presidentof the United States was the rescission of the moratoriuminvolving fetal tissue transplantation research. Using hisexecutive authority, President Clinton enacted a previouslyvetoed provision concerning fetal tissue research.

    Hismovement forever removed administrative discretion frompursuing a policy of not supporting or denying funding forfetal tissue research. As a result, research involving fetaltissue from induced abortions are now permitted under federalFetal tissue transplants affect many people. Anyonewith a neurodegenerative disorder is affected by theprocedure. The transplants are used to treat diseases such asParkinson’s.

    Tremors, ridgedness, and hypokentetics are someof the symptoms that are being cured by fetal tissuetransplants. The transplants have even been proven to regainuse of damaged brain tissue. Most of the people who obtainthe procedure are years into their diagnosis of the disease. Anyone can obtain Parkinson’s disease, but the older theIn order for us to better analyze the topic of fetaltissue transplants we must ask and answer some ethics basedIf the process of fetal tissue transplantation is to beconsidered right it must be further questioned. For somethingto be right it must serve good, or not serve evil.

    Accordingto this definition fetal tissue transplants would beconsidered wrong, because in order to do good to one human,In this case, moral duty is owed in several differentplaces. For one, the parent child relationship is a majorone at hand. If fetal tissue transplants would be allowed,in many cases there would be no parent child relationshipbecause the child was murdered in a attempt to save anotherhuman being. The person to God aspect is also at hand. Abortion, which is a heavy sin in most major religions wouldbe taking place and would be accepted by society. Alsotodays’ generation and the next generation comparison wouldalso be harmed.

    By accepting abortion and murder intosociety, moral values would be lost. The reasoning of what makes right acts right is based onnormative ethics. Truth telling, confidentiality, justice,maximized benefits and the lack of harm are the main impactsinvolved. Even though some of these do not apply to fetaltissue transplantation the ones that do, lead to the processof fetal tissue transplantation being wrong. Justice couldnot possibly be served if one live is exchanged for another. Maximized benefits would also be unsatisfied.

    The onlybenefit would be that the disease would be treated and lesssevere, at the cost of human lives. The lack of harm is alsointerrupted. The fetus is killed, which may also lead toHow do rules apply to specific situations?As stated earlier, there have been many laws andprohibitions against the process of fetal tissue transplantsfor many reasons. Rules state that it is not legal to killanother human being. In this case, abortion is beingjustified and the murder of fetus’ will take place. Moralrules and beliefs also come into play.

    It is not morallyright for someone to hurt someone else in order to makethemselves feel better. Society does not allow these laws orbeliefs to take place nor should we. What ought to be done in specific cases?In every situation the facts are different. In the caseof fetal tissue transplantation, the facts are as follows. Innocent fetus’ are being killed to undergo research in apossible attempt to treat or possibly cure nuerodegenerativedisorders. This is not the right thing to do.

    Furtherresearch for this study should be banned along with anyattempts to sell ones fetal tissues to an undercover market. In conclusion, although fetal tissue transplants maydeem to be a very helpful procedure in the treatment for manydiseases it should be outlawed and banned. I say thisbecause in order for one life to survive a new life must betaken away. Not only does this serve as a problem, but ifthis procedure is accepted it will lead the society tobelieve that this procedure is encouraged when it really isnot.

    Also, if the procedure is accepted by society it wouldlead to an eventual black market of tissues and organs thatcould only increase the rate of abortion. These possibleproblems all have the snowball affect on one another. Inorder to play the matter safely where no harm is to be donewould be to outlaw fetal tissue transplantation.Bibliography:

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