I don’t usually buy papers. No, im not trying to be ignorant but I just somehow will never find the time to read it. However, I was very drawn to purchase yesterday’s (12 April) newspaper.
NO MORE INJECTIONS- Stem- cell treatment provides cure for diabetics.
That was the headline that drew my attention. I paid my RM1.20 and went to a café near by to indulge in my newly purchased newspaper.
While reading I couldn’t help but wonder how many people who would have read this would actually realize what a breakthrough the medical world has just given to us. This is, for me, a humongous success- imagine a Type 1 diabetic patient not having to inject himself with insulin ever again… this should be celebrated as if we’ve found cure to cancer!!
To all those who are still blur2, let me shed some light on this matter. Diabetes is when u have increased sugar levels in your blood which will then cause increased sugar level in your urine. Hence why we say diabetes as ‘kencing manis’.
The food we consume daily will be broken down in our stomach to produce sugar or glucose. This glucose will then be absorbed into our blood to be transported to all our organs that needs glucose to function. The glucose can only enter the organs from the blood when there is presence of hormone Insulin. Glucose is like fuel to our organs, without it we will be tired and can’t function. In a diabetic patient, this glucose cannot be transferred from our blood to the organs, as there is a problem in the production of Insulin by our pancreas or if our body somehow fails to use the insulin produced by our pancreas, thus increasing the sugar level in our blood. High sugar level in our blood is bad cos it will make your blood thick causing your whole circulation to clog up.
In a Diatbetic Type 1 patient, their pancreas somehow failed and they cannot produce enough insulin. this is due to various problems which is too elaborate to explain. Perhaps anyone interested should Google ‘AUTO IMMUNE’. But anyway, a Type 1 Diabetes patient will be doomed to a lifetime of Insulin injections everytime he wants to eat. Imagine doing that for the rest of your life!!
In this new approach of treatment, stem cells are used to ‘regenerate’ the pancreas giving it a renewed capacity to produce insulin. (i don’t know how to explain STEM CELL to you so perhaps you should Google that too). Anyone with an inferring ability should be able to deduce that this would then mean that a Type 1 Diabetes patient doesn’t ever need to inject himself with insulin anymore.
However, there are too many ethical issues surrounding this mode of treatment. As well elaborated in the papers, stem cells come form embryo, which is a developing organism from conception until approximately the end of the second month. Thus taking stem cells from embryo would in other words mean killing a newly formed human being. This is definitely controversional and against many religion and believes.
Which brings me to my second thought regarding this matter… how tolerant are we all going to be? Is stem cell treatment a problem to all of us? How far are we going to explore this mode of treatment? Wonders can happen if we do… imagine to be able to treat heart disease, blindness and kidney failure? Isn’t that a good thing? But is it worth killing an embryo to give life to someone who has already had a chance to live?
I had a friend, Merdina, in high school. she was in the same prefectorial board as I was. She had Type 1 Diabetes. It was really sad watching a 17 year old having to inject herself every time she wanted to eat- especially if she wanted to eat something sweet such as cakes. Merd was really thin and tired all the time cos her body couldn’t use the food she ate. More complications then arose from the increased sugar levels in her blood. Merdina passed away at the age of 24 last year as she succumbed to her illness. Imagine your child dying at such an early age from a disease that she didn’t put onto herself. Imagine how her mother must have felt during her last few days alive. Imagine what my friend was thinking about during her last days…
Hopefully this so called ‘cure’ for Type 1 Diabetes will work its way out of its controversy. Dunno how though, perhaps we should Google what our religion says bout this matter too...
3.12pm, 13 April 2007
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