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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.42 n.3 Pretoria Jan. 2008




Stamselnavorsing en -terapie: 'n Oorsig oor die uitvoerbaarheid daarvan met meegaande etiese implikasies


Stem cell research and therapy: An overview of its feasibility with accompanying ethical implications



A.L. Rheeder

Skool vir Kerkwetenskappe, Potchefstroomkampus. Noordwes-Universiteit. Potchefstroom. E-pos:




Stamselnavorsing is 'n asemrowende tegnologie waar die mens se eie selle gebruik word om genesing te bewerk. Stamselle is spesiale selle wat die vermoë het om tot enige sel in die liggaam te ontwikkel en defektiewe selle te herstel of te vervang. Navorsers het stamselle uit die menslike (en dierlike) embrio, fetus, naelstring en volwasse liggaam geïsoleer en tot stamsellyne voorberei vir terapie. Verbasende resultate is alreeds aangetoon. In sommige gevalle het navorsers ten volle genesing bewerk of ten minste groot verbeter tot stand gebring in diere (en in enkele gevalle by mense) met suikersiekte, Parkinson en Alzheimer se siektes en outo-immuunsiektes. Die gebreekte rugmurg van rotte is ook al deur hierdie tegnologie herstel. Die doel van hierdie artikel is om oorsigtelik aan die tegniese uitvoerbaarheid en vordering in stamselnavorsing aandag te gee. Uit hierdie gegewens sal dit duidelik word dat daar heelwat algemene en tegniese probleme met meegaande etiese implikasies bestaan, wat eers opgelos moet word voordat hierdie terapie bruikbaar sal wees. Probleme wat geïdentifiseer is, is die noodwendige vernietiging van die menslike embrio, die oorweging van terapeutiese kloning, plasing van menslike embrionale stamselle in embrio's van primate soos ape en 'n reeks tegniese probleme in die ontwikkeling van stamsel-tegnologie.


Stem cell research is a breathtaking technology where man's own cells are used to effect a cure for certain ailments. Stem cells are specially developed cells that contain the ability to develop into any cell in the body and to cure or replace defective cells. Researchers isolated stem cells from the human (and animal) embryo, foetus, umbilical cord, and adult body and developed them to stem cell lines for therapy. Astonishing results have already been shown. In some instances researchers achieved full cure or at least huge improvement in animals (and in a few instances with human beings) with diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases and auto-immune diseases. The broken spinal marrow ofrats has also been repaired through this technique. The aim of this article is to give an overview of the technical feasibility and advancement of this field of research. It will become apparent from these facts that there are a large number of general and technical problems with the accompanying ethical implications, that will have to be resolved before this therapy can be applied. Problems that have been identified include the necessary destruction of the human embryo, the consideration of therapeutic cloning, the placing of human embryonic cells in embryos of primates such as apes and a series of technical problems in the development of stem cell technology.



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