Presentation on theme: "FACULDADE DE DIREITO DA UNIVERSIDADE NOVA DE LISBOA MESTRADO EM DIREITO – CIÊNCIAS JURÍDICAS FORENSES DIREITO DA SAÚDE E BIOÉTICA INÊS LOPES RAIMUNDO,"— Presentation transcript:
FACULDADE DE DIREITO DA UNIVERSIDADE NOVA DE LISBOA MESTRADO EM DIREITO – CIÊNCIAS JURÍDICAS FORENSES DIREITO DA SAÚDE E BIOÉTICA INÊS LOPES RAIMUNDO, N.º 1230 STEM CELLS
What are Stem Cells? Stem cells are biological cells found in all multicellular organisms, that can divide through mitosis and differentiate into diverse specialized cell types or can self renew to produce more stem cells.
There are two broad types of stem cells Embryonic Stem Cells: that are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts; Adult Stem Cells: that are found in various tissues. In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenished in adult tissues. In a developing embryo, stem cells can differentiate into all the specialized cells, but also maintain the normal turnover of regenerative organs
Adult Stem Cells Are Stem Cells that can be derived from different parts of the body and, depending on where they are from, have different properties. They exist in several different tissues including bone marrow, blood and brain. Some studies have suggested that adult stem cells are very versatile and can develop into many different cell types.
Types of adult Stem Cells Hematopoietic Stem Cells Are adult Stem Cells found mainly in the bone marrow and they provide the blood cells required for daily blood turnover and for fighting infections. Are easy to obtain as they can be either aspirated directly out of the bone marrow or stimulated to move into the peripheral blood stream, where they can be collected. Have been used for decades to treat blood cancers and other blood disorders.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells Are Stem Cells found in the bone marrow and these cells can form a variety of cells in laboratory, including bone, tendon, cartilage, muscle cells, nerve cells, etc. Unlike most other human adult stem cells, can be found in appropriate quantities for clinical uses. Techniques for isolation and amplification of mesenchymal Stem Cells in culture have been established and the cells can be maintained and propagated in culture for long periods of time without losing their capacity to form themselves. Can be derived from a small bone marrow sample from a given patient and given back to the patient and this will avoid problems associated with immune rejection and infections.
Umbilical cord blood Stem Cells Can be got from the umbilical cord immediatly after birth. The advantages of using cord blood as a source of Stem Cells are its non invasive procedure and its vast abundance. Cord blood has emerged as an alternative source of hematopoietic Stem Cells for treatment of leukemia and other blood disorders. Have the advantage that despite its high content of immune cells, it does not produce strong graft-versus-host disease (a condition where graft immune cells atack the patient´s body cells). Their usage for other uses, as organ and tissue repair, is under investigation.
Ethical and Juridical Discussion
The investigation on Stem Cells has built a new domain about biomedical research. Expectations have been grown on the scientific community and the whole society and it reflects many values and diferent interests. In my opinion, the discussion has to be about the values and principles that are implicated on the means for what cientists can obtain Stem Cells, the social importance of finding new therapies and the freedom of all cientists.
The scientific knowledge about the development regulation mechanisms of human beings has given Stem Cells qualities of a good path for the investigation and treatment of human diseases, wich give themselves ethical value. Scientists all over the world say that, in the next years, the human genom will conquer the world with new therapies and perspectives of life. The investigation on adult Stem Cells is, for me, an alternative for the investigation on embryonic Stem Cells.
Reasons for the defense of the studies on adult Stem Cells 1 – Some who oppose embryonic Stem Cell research defend that adult Stem Cells research gives us a way to treat lots of diseases without killing a human embryo and so, without taking a life out and respecting principles like the principle of life and human dignity. 2- Adult Stem Cell therapies are powerfull and can treat infections and diseases like Cancer, specially blood cancers and can be used for reconstitution of damage tissues such as cartilage, bone, musclem, heart muscle
3- Diseases like Parkinson, Alzheimer, Diabetes and even spinal cord deseases can be treated by transplanting adult Stem Cells to the injured body. 4- The article 2 of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine says that “The interests and welfare of the human being shall prevail over the sole interest of society or science”. In my point of view, this article proclaims the interests of Human beings above the scientific interests and establish the guide lines to when scientific interests are in a direct conflict with person interests. So, the conclusion we can take from this is that the legality of adult Stem Cells research, for therapeutic results, don´t damage any particular interest of the Human being, respecting the Right to life.
Besides what we said above, It is posible to join two interests: the scientific interest of fulfilling new perspectives of treatment and the human being interest that sees many diseases he suffers being cured and treated in the name of a long and better life. Therefore, it is unacceptable the non supporting of adult Stem Cells research and all the technics that allows the development of such powerfull instrument that can be saw like a life savior of so many number of human beings, not to talk about the improvement of life quality that can be given to all of us who suffer any kind of disease.
The last but not least, the adult Stem Cells research has to respect principles like integrity and Human dignity and informed consent of the doner and the receiver. Principles like justice and autonomy have to be respected too, given equal treatment of all Human beings in using the adult Stem Cells technique, evaluating the risks of using the technique and respecting the privacy of everyone for using it. The End