Yesterday Dr. Robert Edwards was awarded Nobel Prize (Medicine) for inventing in vitro fertilization (IVF), a technique to fertilize a human egg in a test tube to create an embryo. Using this technique, four million babies have been born and it fulfilled the desire of couples who could not have children otherwise. The Nobel Prize committee specifically quoted the treatment of infertility as the achievement for awarding the prize.
The IVF also helps in Embryonic Stem Cell research. The stem cells extracted from embryos created using IVF may be used for research and potentially treatment. Embryonic stem cells can develop into different kind of cells. Medical research indicates stem cells from embryo can be used to replace any tissue and hence potentially cure Diabetes, Parkinson, Paralysis, Spinal Cord injuries and other diseases. Pro life groups are against it because embryo has life and embryo may be destroyed while extracting stem cells.
Some may argue that adopting an orphan child instead of using IVF to conceive serves society better. On the other hand, Embryonic Stem Cell research to cure variety of diseases is acceptable as embryo is created using IVF and only a few weeks old and potentially more than 8 months away from actual birth. The question - when does a life starts (at conception or at birth) is relevant but is it really so relevant in case embryos created using IVF?
What do you think on:
1. Adopting a child vs. conceiving using IVF
2. Embryonic Stem Cell to find cure of diseases
Links of IVF clinics in RTP Raleigh area:
PS:- Readers / reviewers have commented this sensitive subject with extremely intelligent remarks based on personal experience and knowledge while considering the emotional aspect. Please do read all the comments.
(Disclaimer: - I am a computer professional but interested to know more about Stem Cell Research. The post is based on a layman’s understanding of subject and may not be accurate.)