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Christopher Reeve - his role in the stem cell debate.

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GILL MOULD CHRISOPHER REEVE-his role in the stem cell debate The actor Christopher Reeve who was paralysed in a riding accident in 1995 died of heart failure in hospital in New York on Monday the 11th of October 2004, at the age of 52. Reeve had become famous for his role, as Superman 'it was a role that defined his career', (Barry Norman, 2004.) However, since his accident and his following paralysis he had become well known for his support for stem cell research. In the following I shall be exploring the pro's and cons of stem cell research. Stem cells have been hailed as 'the most important cell ever discovered'. According to the New Scientist, unlike a red blood cell, which carries oxygen through the blood stream, or a muscle cell that works with other cells to produce movement, a stem cell does not have any specialised properties. ...read more.


The cells that are taken from early embryos have the greatest potential to develop. Not only did Reeves feel he had a battle with paralysis but also the Bush administration itself. Reeves had believed, that the Bush administration would not take the research further saying they had 'dropped the ball' on stem-cell research. A form of technology, which could one day provide a cure for people with spinal injuries, like Reeve's. (CNN, 2003) President Bush had allowed only limited research funds to be spent in this field. Reeve accused Bush of 'listening to the Christian right at the expense of reasoned scientific opinion' (CNN, 2003). However, he congratulated Tony Blair and the House of Lords for Britain's decision to allow some forms of stem cell research. At the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool Tony Blair said he was 'proud' to have been thanked by Superman. Nevertheless, even in the UK opinion is mixed. ...read more.


(BBC, 2004) Reeve, became a passionate campaigner, and had been driven by a combination of optimism and anger at others attitudes. Many people may not have even heard of Stem Cells until Reeves began to campaign for more research into them. Governments must now decide where does the research go from here. Surely, there must be a compromise in this difficult situation. How can they stop the research into ways of stopping suffering or even death for millions of people? In addition, in the future will scientists find that the stem cells found in adults are of greater use, which in turn solves the problems of extracting the material from embryos? Alternatively, it could it all turn out to be too good to be true and we may learn that there are too many side effects to make stem cell therapy safe. These are all questions that may never have any answers, we will just have to wait and see. Reeve's Essay Gill Mould Page 1 19/12/2007 ...read more.

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