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Word Count: 571
In the essay Is a Tree Worth a Life by Sally Thane Christensen the author tells her story of ovarian cancer and a new drug that can potentially save her life She uses very strong language to try and make the reader side with her Christensens use of this is very effective because she really makes the audience feel her pain and sympathize with her The author starts out by explaining the Pacific yew tree It is a conifer found only on the west coast from southern Alaska to central California and in Washington Oregon Idaho and Montana This tree has never had much value in the past it was harvested by accident and then wasted Now it has been found that the bark from this tree has a certain chemical extract in it that can cure ovarian cancer So far 30 of patients treated with the drug Taxol have shown a significant response The only problem with this experiment is that it takes the bark from 3 trees to make enough taxol to treat one patient This puts the environmental agencies up in arms They believe that it may endanger the Pacific yew tree Christensen on the other hand having been diagnosed with ovarian cancer three years ago believes this is ridiculous She believes that the amount of women who die every year from ovarian and breast cancer deserve a chance to live and if it takes killing trees then so be it Christensen says that she has been accepted for an experimental taxol treatment at the National Cancer institute but she is lucky Thousands maybe hundreds of thousands of women will die before this drug may ever be released So the question stands what is more important a tree or a human life My opinion of this essay is that it is very good Christensen really gets her point across to the reader She uses specific facts and information to show that
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