Kidneys are a very delicate and important part of the human body, it is in the kidneys that all the body’s toxins are filtered out, and also where homeostasis is maintained. Sadly, as of 2007, over 13% of Americans alone suffer from some form of kidney disease. These people either need to go on dialysis , or need a full-on kidney transplant just to stay alive. Unfortunately, kidney transplants are hard to come by. Dialysis is paid for by the government (taxpayers) for whoever may need it- but such care requires a special medication called Epogen, which stimulates bone marrow to make red blood cells. This medication is needed 3 times a week and is extremely expensive, and it is up to the government to pay for it. Dialysis is also constant, some patients relying on it for 20 plus years before a transplant is made available. As far as transplants go, most patients die before one is available. If they do receive a kidney they also need anti-rejection medication which is about $3000-4,000 per month. They must pay for it themselves and cannot receive the transplant until they prove they can afford the medication. Luckily for those with kidney failure there is a new technology that has the ability to clone human organs. Cloned kidneys are made from the recipients own skin cells which means the cloned organ is not only part of their DNA, it is also not rejected by the body, making anti- rejection meds unnecessary. But, if something is too good to be true, it usually is- Pro life activists, the Catholic church, Wall street and Big Business all oppose such a controversial and “unethical” technology and are trying their best to shut down this research and technology for good.
Source: James Chapman, “Kidney Breakthrough ‘could end the need for Donors,’” Daily Mail (UK), November 4, 2014, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-97207/Kidney-breakthrough-end-need-donors.html.
Student Researcher: Shayleigh Mclaughlin (Indian River State College)
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)