Embryonic Stem Cell Application: An Ethical Debate

We recently wrote about Katie Sharify and her stem cell experience after suffering spinal cord injury in a devastating car crash. What we haven’t examined are the ethical implications in light of the fact that the trial Katie was on used embryonic stem cells.

Katie Sharify

Katie Sharify

Immediately after her accident on November 2nd 2011 Sharify was identified as a potential participant in the trial. Researchers were interested in working with people who had very recent spinal cord injuries so Sharify was a clear fit. She had been thrown 15 feet from her car near Los Banos, California. She was then airlifted to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where physicians had been instructed to identify patients who could meet the study criteria. One week later she was transferred to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

At first Sharify was uncertain about taking part in the study, she said. Her only knowledge of embryonic stem cells had been that they are controversial. She was aware that the treatment would be quite safe, but also that it was an experimental procedure. Her parents were not very happy about her considering embryonic stem cell application.

Sharify’s whole family debated the treatment with her up until the day before her scheduled appointment. Eventually the Stanford doctor who would be injecting the stem cells convinced her it was the right decision to make.

“After talking to him, I knew this was a really big deal,” said Sharify. “I’d been trying to find the reason all of this happened to me.”

Friends and family of Katie Sharify have set up a website to collect donations toward her health care costs. The website is moneyforkatie.weebly.com

Angeles-hospital-in-Tijuana

Angeles-hospital-in-Tijuana

Patient-funded stem cell application trials are currently taking place at Angeles hospital in Mexico. However at our upscale facility we use adult stem cells only, removing the ethical dilemma patients face with embryonic stem cell application. To learn more about the stem cell program at Angeles hospital please contact us using the form on the right.

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