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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
3:40 AM Sun, Nov. 18th

Talk of the Town<BR>Stem cell research is vital piece in health puzzle<BR>

Stem Cell research is an issue that our society has been battling ever since laboratory discoveries proved the benefit of stem cell research for treating disease and injuries.

Yet, how do you determine the value of one life over another? Where do you draw the line? The public's general knowledge on the subject is less than adequate, and obviously the people of this country need to base their opinion of stem cell research on facts, solely because no matter which sideone takes, it means the sacrifice of lives.

Research and knowledge provide only understanding and appropriate decisions. Regardless of one's stance on the issue, you are legitimate, because either side desires life. This is an issue we cannot ignore, because of the complexity of the benefits and consequences that it presents. However, it is important to keep in mind that we are in fact human, and the American people never will reach a consensus.

The cure for this disease and many others including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, spinal cord injuries, strokes, burns, heart disease, osteoarthritis and many more lie in one tiny stem cell.

It is important to understand that we can further enhance research of embryonic stem cells and further the chances of finding an equally effective alternate method, so that embryo stem cell usage will cease.

When clinics abort an embryo, they usually discard it thereafter. However, instead of discarding the embryo, science could use these unwanted cells to save others. Abortion itself is a pro-life/pro-choice debate, and stem cell research can use the aborted fetuses without promoting abortion.

Currently, regardless of private financing, not enough dollars are available to support the research properly, thus jeopardizing the possibilities of successes and knowledge of alternate methods. The results of research can save, prolong, or better the quality of life.

Thousands of people in this world are suffering from diseases that many of us don't have to endure. However, with the results of this research, we can prevent and cure diseases, prolong life and enchance the quality of life.

Stem cell research is a present issue that we all must face and thus we inevitably will develop opinions. However, because of ethical concerns, sufficient research has failed to become a reality. The consequences demand a sense of immediacy: life itself. Whether it's happier, safer, or just a life at all, everyone deserves it, and can receive benefits.

From continued studies, complications will cease, and the need for embryonic cells will disappear. Alternate methods will emerge, and the cause of all this uproar will no longer exist.

We all must face it. It affects you, me, your best friend, your grandfather, or your mom. So go and tell everyone.

Go tell them that our ethical issues within ourselves are standing between them and death's door. I dare you.

(Meghan Shipman is a student at Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley.)