A Glimpse at the Future: Good or Bad?

First patient treated in stem cell study

The first patient has been treated with human embryonic stem cells in the first study authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to test the controversial therapy.

A patient who was partially paralyzed by a spinal cord injury had millions of embryonic stem cells injected into the site of the damage, according to an announcement early Monday by the Geron Corp. of Menlo Park, Calif., which is sponsoring the groundbreaking study.

The patient was treated at the Shepherd Center, a 132-bed hospital in Atlanta that specializes in spinal cord and brain injuries, Geron said. The hospital is one of seven sites participating in the study, which is primarily aimed at testing whether the therapy is safe. Doctors will, however, also conduct a series of specially designed tests to see whether the treatment helps the patients. No additional information about the first patient was released.

The study marks a milestone in stem cell research, which is considered one of the most promising developments in medical research in decades but has been fraught with controversy. Here’s a recent story about the study.

The announcement comes as the future of federal funding for embryonic stem
cell research remains in doubt. A federal judge ruled
in August that the Obama administration’s more permissive policy for funding the
research violated a federal law prohibiting taxpayer money being used for
research that involves the destruction of human embryos. The Justice Department
is appealing.

There is much promised in the advance of stem cell research but it is mired in the desire of researchers to use any and all stem cells includiing embryonic.  The measure of the future will be in our willingness to protect both the afflicted and the unprotected.  The fear is that money will be the driving equation.

What do you think?

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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