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Topic: Read And Review A Role Playing Scenario Based On Stem Cell
Read topic: With this Discussion Board Exercise, you will have the opportunity to read and review a role playing scenario based on stem cell research. First, read the material and then answer the questions.
Introduction to the role play
Background on Spinal Cord Injury
Background on Stem Cell Research
Company Proposal--Application for a Clinical Trial
Research Ethics Committee
Second, pick one of these biography cards. These are the people who are on the Research Ethics Committee and who must decide if this proposal is allowed to proceed:
A stem cell scientist
A representative of a patient group
Then, pick one of these people who are in the audience:
A person with a spinal cord injury
A pro-life activist
A representative of a disability rights group
A scientist who works on adult stem cells
A protechnology activist
A member of the general public
First, write about your two biography cards and how you would feel about participating in such an activity. Do you think that such a role playing scenario would be effective? How do you think that Americans would respond to it? Why?
Then 2 responses:
1: I chose the roles of the representative of a patient group and a member of the general public. As a representative of a patient group, actually a CEO in this case, I would have a difficult job selecting individuals to participate in the study. The stem cell treatment only works on patients that have been recently injured, within a few weeks, and would not benefit some of the patients that have been injured longer than that. Having to inform hopeful patients and families that they do not qualify and are probably outside the time window to receive help would be the most difficult part of the job.
The other role I selected was that of a member of the general public. He is a resident of Scotland and very skeptical of the motives for such medical use of human embryos. He is well read and remembers the South Korean scandal that exposed scientists coercing female researchers into donating their eggs for research. He believes the motives are fame, glory and money and not on the well being of the patients. He doesn`t seem to be opposed to the use of embryonic stems cells for ethical reasons but is just a skeptic of the motives of the medical entities.
I do believe that a role playing scenario like this would be beneficial It would allow individuals to learn a little about other points of view. It may not change anyone`s mind right away but it might soften the views of those that are opposed to embryonic stem cells research. It may also help the proponents of such medical technology to understand the viewpoint of those that are opposed. I think Americans would respond to it in multiple ways as we currently do on most topics. We will have those that are vehemently opposed for religious and ethical reasons and many that are in support of it for the benefits it could provide to our society and even family members that might benefit.
Our society has become more complex and everyone has access to all information via the Internet. Do they read it? No, I don`t think most people take time to read this information and they definitely don`t take time to read opposing points of view to formulate an opinion. We are conditioned to get a information from one source and that is usually our preferred cable news station. So it really comes back to scientific literacy. Educating and training our society to learn and read about differing opinions along with their own to understand a topic better and in a more beneficial way - to go deeper and define our opinions based on sound research from a variety of sources.
I chose the stem cell scientist from the Research Ethics Committee and the pro-life activist from the audience as the characters for the role play exercise.
The scientist is excited about the possibilities of future clinical trials in the field—including his own—if the results of this trial were to be successful. His main concern is that the research that the trial would be based on is sufficient and does not require more research to begin. He believe embryonic stem cells are the best option for creating other different cells, as he is skeptical of reports claiming that adult stem cells are capable of becoming completely different cells. He doesn`t understand people`s emotion reaction to stem cells or how someone can place equal value on a ball of undeveloped cells as a child who has just suffered a spinal cord injury.
The pro-life activist sees the embryonic cells as the beginning of a human life and that they deserve the same rights as any other human being. He feels that using an embryonic cell to create other types of cells is the same thing as murder. He believes that if this trial is successful and the practice of using embryonic cells as treatment for spinal cord injuries makes its way into the clinics, new ways of harvesting the cells--other than surplus IVF—will create a slippery slope, possibly resulting in a need to clone the cells.
Personally, I would have no problem participating in an activity like this. I think it would amusing to see a fanatic pro-lifer argue that a ball of cells is the same thing as a person with a heart, brain, and lungs. I don`t know how effective a role playing activity like this would actually be. People are pretty much set in their beliefs on this highly controversial issue. Someone from one side might be able to see some of the points made by a member of the opposing side, but I doubt anyone from either camp could be fully swayed in the other direction. This is an issue that Americans have been split over for years, and I don`t see an end to the debate anywhere in the near future.
What you write: tell what you what you liked, if you have any questions and make sure your response extends each of the peers answers to topic in some way. Please keep separate.
Responses Name Institution Date Peer 1 As a representative of a patient group, one needs to take into consideration the likely medical outcomes, risks and benefits. The role playing highlights the case for people to be more informed on stem cell research, as there is likely to be more study participants when they understand the