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The process involves removal of a tissue from an aborted fetus and transplanting it to a deceased or damaged tissue of a person in order to replace the…
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The concept of fetal tissue transplantation has been raising much buzz both in the medical and the generalfraternity. The process involves removal of a tissue from an aborted fetus and transplanting it to a deceased or damaged tissue of a person in order to replace the defective tissue. It is normally done in the control of neurological disorders such as the Parkinson’s disease (Rae 1991). The research on fetal tissue transplant has been ongoing in the United States and increased with an increase in biomedical research. It is realised that after transplant, the tissue grows rapidly than the normal human tissue and is less likely to be rejected by the human tissues.
The concept of fetal tissue transplant has been one of the most controversial aspects in recent medical research. The very fact that the tissue comes from aborted fetus has raised myriad questions especially amongst bioethical campaigners who feel it is certainly inappropriate to use aborted fetus as a panacea in a medical situation. Well, considering such arguments, it is imperative to realise that upon successful confirmation and development of fetal tissue transplant, it would really create the need to provide the fetal tissues in abundant supplies in order to address the growing demand. That would create a dilemma in the medical fraternity. Conventional ethics basically fails to concur with such a proposition. The situation becomes more intricate given that no consent is obtained from anybody when the fetus is used in the treatment.
The greatest challenge that confronts the medical fraternity in the present age is the unavailability of other options with regard to the treatment of Parkinson disease. Sure enough, as a challenge to humanity, the disease needs to be addressed. In the United States, the issue had become so publicised to the extent that the president was forced to intervene and give a national broadcast with reference to the whole research undertaking.
The common argument on ethical grounds regards the fact that the research will accelerate and encourage unnecessary abortions in the face of the growing need to treat patients through fetal tissue transplant. On the same account, bioethical researchers argue that a woman who accepts to conduct an abortion cannot authorise the use of the fetal tissues in the medical treatment because she will have abdicated her parental responsibility in the first place. Sure enough, that point holds water given the challenges that are likely to be realised with women conducing abortions in order to sell the fetal tissues.
At the present stage, the state of the whole issue around the fetal tissue transplant is basically experimental. Widespread adoption and acceptability of the method has not yet been realised and the fundamental concern to most critics is the eventual state of affairs upon the full adoption of the process in the world. In a way, the potential of medical research across the world is so great and upon proper funding and support, other options can always be found and thereby eliminate the need for fetal transplant. In the same way, the bioethical critics in the medical fraternity should not merely criticise the process on empty grounds without giving options to address the fundamental concerns in the medical field. The most important preoccupation of most of the critics in the medical fraternity should be a much concerted effort to find other options to treat Parkinson disease and other concerns like diabetes that can reportedly be addressed by the fetal tissue transplant.
In conclusion, it must be realised that the concept of fetal tissue transplant is a very important realisation in the medical fraternity. To merely criticise the efforts of the researchers on ethical grounds without giving options for the challenge is never appropriate. There should be an all round approach and support from all the parties in order to arrive at a common ground.
References
Rae, S. B. (1991). SPARE PARTS FROM THE UNBORN?: The Ethics of Fetal Tissue Transplantation. CRI. Retrieved March 29, 2012, from www.equip.org/PDF/DE192.pdf Read More
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