War On Stem Cell Research

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The argument on stem cell research has largely been framed as an ethical matter. Should research be allowed to undercut God’s work since embryos are considered humans? Supporters emphasize the societal and therapeutic benefits of stem cell research. Stadelmann D, Torgler B (2017) Stem cell research has seen an explosion of activity since the cells were first isolated in 1998. Ongoing controversy continued when U.S. President George W. Bush announced a new policy restricting stem cell research. Ongoing policy uncertainty has inhibited stem cell research however the societal and therapeutic gains of stem cell research are worth warranting. During my discussion, I will address a few topics from an Overview of Embryonic Stem Cell Research article as we dive deeper into the ongoing Stem cell controversy.

For years politics has gotten in the way of encouraging and funding the advance of scientific data of how the embryo stem cell works. Would researchers have enough understanding of what is morally wrong, instead of hindering the scientific process? From research, we have found out that Embryonic stem cells have the capacity to transform into highly specialized cells and can transform into all cell types within an organism Stadelmann D, Torgler B (2017). Embryonic stem cells are very valuable to scientific research and have high hopes of curing sicknesses known as incurable. Research believes one day we can use these cells for our transplantation or possibly play a major role in curing cancer. Analysis continues to this day on a slippery slope however stem cells are theoretically infinite if a way is found to make them work.

Embryonic stem cell research has many bioethical issues and debatable problems stemming from its moral status. One of the most important ethical problems regarding embryonic stem cells is that through their extraction, the embryo is destroyed, which in some views means killing a living being at an early stage of development. One may say that the story started when it was conceived yet if the embryo has no nervous system should it not be considered a human being?

Another disadvantage to stem cell research is the health problems that have been associated with embryonic stem cell therapies. They have been linked to future health problems due to the rejection rates of the cells. Some embryonic cells do not respond to the activation sites as well as hoped. Therefore starting with the protein makeup the stem cells realize they are in a foreign body. This will then cause an immune response to reject these cells before they’re able to mature.

I do not think the ethical debate will ever be put to rest regarding the use of either adult or embryonic stem cells. We know that embryonic stem cells hold more promise due to their ability to differentiate into any type of cell. Adult stem cells are limited in their ability as their homology is much less than that of embryonic stem cells.

Some argue embryonic cell research is a slippery slope however with the right funding and knowledge research can continue in the right direction. Ultimately don’t we as a human race have a duty to prevent pain and suffering.  

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