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Company ABC has produced a gene therapy technique that will reduce the development of microcephaly in the unborn babies of pregnant woman who have become infected with the Zika virus. The therapy requires the use of stem cells and company ABC will need a large supply of them to treat the wider community. Clinical trials have shown that when adult stem cells are used there is a 15% reduction in microcephaly. When embryo stem cells under 14 days old are used there is a reduction in microcephaly of 50%. When embryo stem cells over 14 days old are used there is a reduction in microcephaly of 100%.
Company ABC need a large supply of stem cells for their gene therapy technique but they are unsure of what type of stem cells to use. All they know at this stage is that they want to acquire the stem cells legally and ethically. Company ABC is a huge multinational company and can set up their laboratory anywhere in the world.
They have asked you to do some preliminary research and write a Report to help them decide what type of stem cells to use. In your Report you need to address the legal and ethical issues related to the use of stem cells, the unborn babies, the pregnant women and the potential for further international spread of the Zika virus.
Based on your Report Company ABC will be carrying out some further research to acquire the stem cells that you recommended. Before they can do that research they will need to get approval from the Ethics Committee. So, they need to be aware of the ethical issues when they are designing their research. They want you to briefly outline the steps that they should undertake to ensure that their research is ethical. They will also need to know the essential ethical components that they would have to consider. So, you need to address that in your report.
You do not have enough words in this assignment to cover all of the possible steps and components for all the different types of research available. As you do not know what type of research that Company ABC might decide to use (to acquire the stem cells) you will need to choose one type of research and address the ethical issues related to the steps and components of that particular type of research.
The purpose of the report is to suggest the possible procedure in which the disease of Microcephaly could be reduced in the children and also the threat of the Zika Virus is reduced to an extent. The pregnant women affected with Zika virus often found that their unborn babies are also affected by the virus, and as a result, they suffer from Microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition in which the size of the brain gets reduced from that of the normal size. It further leads to various neurological diseases for the child in the future. However, there had been an ethical debate on stem cell research with human stem cells. Human embryonic stem cell research started 50 years ago, but it consists of vital discussion rated to ethical issues. The main issue was regarding the use of human embryonic cells are the source of gaining embryos, the issue of researching on the clinical use of stem cells, and others. The present source of embryonic stem cells are (1) pre-existing embryonic stem cells, (2) leftover embryonic stem cells after IVF (in vitro fertilization), and (3) embryonic produced through somatic cells through nuclear transfer technique, in order to obtain stem cells for research purpose
Microcephaly is the condition in which head of the babies is smaller than normal condition. The growth of the head is depended on the development of the brain for the babies in the womb. The main controversy is associated with the use of embryonic cells obtained from IVF. On the other hand, alternative thoughts arise that the use of embryonic cells for research purpose should be legitimate as it serves to treat different types of disease which are incurable.
The research which is being conducted is followed with the method of exploratory, as this is the method which is being followed in the researches which are being conducted out of the track the extract information and use that relevant information for continuing with the research work. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 considered the collection of the embryonic stem cell for the purpose of the research work, it was first revised in 2000 and again in the year 2008. The law, thus considered that the companies might continue with the research work with the collection of the stem cells only after getting licenced from the HFEA. The law also specified the consent of the donor, which should be given the first priority in the case of the collection of the stem cells.
It is concluded from the report that there is a wide range of ethical and legal issues that must be followed before practising gene therapy treatment by the companies. Thus, it could be urged that the uses of stem cells should be allowed in order to overcome the side effect of the disease. As there is a huge amount of ethical issue related to the use of embryonic stem cells, it is suggested that the use of tissue stem cells should be researched upon