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The Case of Eric, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and Stem Cell Research
Elizabeth R. McCain
Thirty-one-year-old Eric has begun to show signs of the debilitating and fatal neuromuscular disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Students follow Eric as he is examined by his physician and then a specialist, undergoes a series of tests, and eventually is given the devastating prognosis. He is also given the news that a group of prominent scientists has begun human trials with embryonic stem cell therapy, which may offer a possible cure for his condition, and that he can participate in the experiment if he wishes. Students research and then prepare oral presentations on the perspectives of a variety of experts Eric might wish to consult as he weighs the science and ethics of his decision.
|Keywords:||Stem cell research; embryonic stem cell; embryonic germ cell; primordial germ cell; pluripotent stem cell; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Lou Gehrig disease; neuromuscular disease; bioethics; George W. Bush|
|Topical Area:||Ethics, Policy issues, Social issues|
|Educational Level:||High school, Undergraduate lower division|
|Type/Method:||Dilemma/Decision, Role-Play, Journal Article, Student Presentations|
|Subject Headings:||Biology (General) Cell Biology Biotechnology|
|Copyright:||Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.|
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