Big Business and others Oppose Cloned Kidney

by Project Censored

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, Nov 4th, 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, Ph.D., Indian River State College.

Ethics Alert

For the past few years scientists have been working with a new technology, to create the world’s first test-tube organs, with which they would be able to make an organ from a recipients own DNA. Such a discovery would make it so no donor, or anti-rejection medication would be needed, which could revolutionize transplant medicine and change the entire medical practice forever. But there are many companies and organizations that question such a technology and the moral and ethical repercussions that would follow its widespread use.

The scientists that are working with this technology, although not yet able to clone a human organ, have been successful in cloning animal organs, specifically adult cows. A few years back scientists took DNA cells from and adult cows ear and after some time, were able to create two small kidneys, which they then inserted into the cow, and amazingly- the kidneys began to produce urine. A few months later, they removed the organs from the cow and discovered they had been working just as the scientists had hoped, as well as no rejection from the cow’s system. This discovery has opened doors for not only kidney cloning, but also could be used to create cells to create heart tissue and even cells to help treat arthritis. Many companies and organizations are worried about what could be done with such technology, such as giving man the opportunity to create and destroy life as they please, to play God.

Pro-life activists and the Roman Catholic Church argue that if this technology is available scientists in labs could either create or destroy life at their own hand, instead of it being in the hands of God. “Scientists will be able to create or destroy life in the laboratory on an unprecedented scale, they argue. “They are also concerned about the ethics of allowing human creation without conception for the first time”. Wall Street and big business fear for the millions that would be lost through the revenue made by anti-rejection meds and transplants. If the medication and transplants became obsolete, the amount of money lost would be copious. Pharmaceutical companies make a lot of money off of medications that transplant recipients need to keep from rejecting their new kidneys. They have lobbyists in Washington to make sure the government keeps funding dialysis. The dialysis companies also court the lobbyists to make sure the funding is not cut. Imagine how much money would be lost. No more anti-rejection medication equals no more money, Wall Street would not be too happy losing all that money as well. Ideally, it would be nice if the powers that be would do the right thing, but when money is involved, morality goes out the window. Money talks. Also, consider the jobs that would be lost. Just look at what the CEO’s of these dialysis companies make, also all of the staff needed to run these clinics would be lost. It is in big business’ benefit to continue to do “business as usual”. Pro-lifers and the Catholic church fear the scientists would be playing God, by using such technology to possibly, one day, create a human baby, which they believe to be immoral. But even if this technology does begin to be used on a greater scale, reproductive cloning still remains illegal in most countries. So whichever way things go, cloned replacement organs will remain a thought of the far future, and I believe such a concept of human cloning won’t become a reality for some time, if ever.