Medical science has made some shocking developments in the past twenty years. For the first time, our technology is reaching the point where we have to question our moral right to “play God”. It could even turn out that medical science will revolutionize the 21st century to the same degree that computer science revolutionized the 20th century. At the same time, present factors of society lay new challenges on the health care industry. The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the frontiers being explored in the health care field as well as some new economic and political developments that affect the industry, and perhaps even forecast what kind of impact they will have on the health care careers of tomorrow.
Stem cells. Boy, does this topic raise some debate! Embryonic stem cells are looked to at least as a potential cure for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and possibly other neurological disorders as well. But if we were to routinely start using stem cells as treatment, the moral implications would be that we are essentially aborting a fetus, taking one life to save another. Of course, stem cells aren’t quite a fetus yet, and that’s where the debate is raging in this gray area between what we know, what we think we know, and what we have yet to find out.
The scientific research of stem cells is currently hogtied by the political debate. The science is way ahead of the money, with research labs having a difficult time getting funding for such a controversial field. One thing many have pointed out is that no matter what laws the United States passes, some country, somewhere, will eventually start exploring th