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To: Phsstpok

Just hoping this may be of interest or, even better, helpful.


3 posted on 04/18/2007 5:16:02 PM PDT by Bahbah (Regev, Goldwasser & Shalit, we are praying for you.)
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To: Bahbah
thank you so much for the link. I’ve been following research like this and, though it holds out hope for people with my condition in the future, it won’t have any direct affect on me that I can envision.

The ability to grow a cornea from stem cells will offer someone like me a future opportunity for a transplant without a donor. That will affect the moral but not the medical aspect of the question for my condition. After my first corneal transplant I gained an entirely new appreciation for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s monster. Like him, I have parts in me from dead people. In my case it is currently up to four. Unlike the situation in that novel, all of the parts that have been used to help me come from willing donors. That is actually my point of departure, morally, on the argument over embryonic stem cell research. Beneficiaries of any research derived from embryonic stem cells actually have more in common, morally, with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, who requires the blood of unwilling victims to survive.

There’s a world of difference there.

That improvement in the moral issues involved in a transplant alone, however, would be a great comfort to me. I have never known how to express my thanks to those four souls who have been so generous to me over the last quarter of a centory, particularly since their generosity had to come under circumstances where they weren’t expecting to die, but their gift to me happened only because they met an untimely death. How do you thank someone for something like that, particularly if you don’t know who they are?

But beyond that moral consideration there won’t be any difference in the outcome for me. A transplant from this type of source or one from a donor will likely not be a good choice the next time my vision fails. It looks more and more likely that this latest transplant may not prove successful, though there is still hope, even if they have to repeat. But whatever the source the tissue in a transplanted cornea will be replaced by my own faulty tissue within about 10 years, meaning the underlying condition, undoubtedly genetic at it’s root, will reassert itself.

For someone like me there are two hopes, one won’t happen in my lifetime and one may. The first is an outgrowth of this research, where they understand the underlying genetic problems and provide a retro-virus or some other genetic cure so that after a transplant my own tissue won’t be my eyesights worst enemy. That won’t happen while I’m on this Earth. The other chance is actually less likely to happen in my lifetime, but is still a possibility. That would be if they come up with an bio-electronic way to artificially replace my natural vision. It looks likely that research is even further out, but you can never tell. Those breakthroughs are far harder to predict.

My one stipulation is that I won’t submit myself to a bionic link to something running on Windows. It’s just not going to happen!

Again, thanks for the ping.

7 posted on 04/18/2007 6:06:44 PM PDT by Phsstpok (Often wrong, but never in doubt)
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