Thursday, August 18, 2005

Shit Storm a' Brewing: Fetal Tissue & Burn Care

Oh my. The reaction to this will likely be hysterical. Never mind that something beneficial might be done with what would otherwise be destroyed. Never mind the obvious comparisons to organ donation. Invective invoking Nazi experimentation is sure to follow.

5 comments:

Daisy Girl said...

I had to sit on this for a bit before forming a response. While at first glance, this seems to be a productive use of 'waste' material, I cannot help but wonder at the moral connotations that are bound to arise.
First, will this become a justification for abortion?
While I am fully aware that not all abortions are performed simply due to the host's unwillingness to carry the fetus, this type of justification seems immoral to me. I'm not against abortion, per se, but I am against it being used as a method of birth control.
The next question that comes to mind is whether or not there are any long-term repercussions from using someone else's cells to stimulate growth?

Personally, if I was a burn victim and had the opportunity to have my injuries healed without scarring or at best minimal scarring, I would jump at the opportunity.

Cantankerous Bitch said...

Personally, I have a hard time imagining that this would be used as some kind of justification. I mean, we haven't seen scores of women aborting in the hopes of generating stem cell supplies.
As for using someone else's cells - I believe cadaver skin is used in grafts all the time. I'd presume that rejection issues are dealt with in this case just like they are with organ donation.

Geo_Chick said...

I believe that is one of the big benefits of fetal cells, they are not yet differientiated enough to cause rejection and adapt themselves. That is one of the big reasons why their use allows such better and scar free healing.

And remember, these were children. I cannot imagine a parent who would choose their own child's suffering and pain over the use of something that would help it. My son got 3rd degree burns covering the palm of one hand and his pain was so intense, I would have done anything to stop it. Any parent who would be unwilling to help their child, well God help them.

Officious Pedant said...

There are ethical considerations with regard to fetal stem cells, having to do almost exclusively with how the cells are obtained. The cells themselves are "blank slates" with no moral connotations, and absolutely zero interest in the politics of the issue.

If there is a way for those aborted fetuses to do good in the world, to be used to heal or cure, it is foolish in the extreme to ignore that potential.

Renee said...

What an awesome medical break through. If you find more on this topic, I'd love to learn about it.