Stem Cell Research Within the past few years, scientist have made several breakthroughs with human stem cells. These breakthroughs have catapulted the issue of stem cell research into the middle of a national debate. Most people have no problem with the research itself, however the source of the stem cells (adult or human embryos) used in research is the primary cause of the debate. Some people feel that destroying an embryo is comparable to murder, even if the research it promotes may help people with serious illnesses.
Biomedical engineering has become a growing field over the past couple years. The new advances and research that stem from biomedical engineers can solve problems that would have never have been able to be solved before. Engineers have been working on new technology that will utilize stem cells in order to save lives and treat diseases. The stem cells that are used for treatment are called embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are formed from five-day old human embryos that the embryos are essentially human beings ("In Stem-cell Research” Para. 3). The usage of such stem cells has caused controversy because pro-life advocates believe lives are being taken away which embryonic stem cell usage. Despite the viewpoints of pro-life advocates who consider embryos to be a life form, the usage of stem cells for medical and scientific reasons is absolutely ethical. The advantages of stem cell usage such as their ability to save a human life, outweighs the opposing viewpoints of partisans against embryo usage.
Embryonic stem cell research is widely controversial in the scientific world. Issues on the ethics of Embryonic Stem (ES) cell research have created pandemonium in our society. The different views on this subject are well researched and supportive. The facts presented have the capability to support or possibly change the public’s perspective. This case study is based on facts and concerns that much of the research done on embryonic stem cells is derived from human embryos. This case study will provide others with a more in depth view of both sides of this great debate.
Science can be described as the pursuit of innovation, advancement and opportunity. Stem cells have offered scientists and the world a new doorway to treat diseases and help millions. The major, significant discovery of stem cells is their ability to differentiate into any cell type which can help rebuild damaged organs. One thing for certain is that these cells brought huge controversies over their uses, how scientists should obtain them, and if the embryos should be used at all on the basis that they should be held on the same morals as humans. Although with these monumental issues at hand, researchers have not given up hope that one day these stem cells will be widely accepted and be used for the benefit of the people.
The study of stem cells in today’s biomedical world is heavily focused upon by the public. Stem cells have the ability to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions that millions are plagued with around the world. These cells transform into different tissue types provisional to their surroundings. The variety of stem cells serve to repair many forms of damaged human tissue. With that said, there is only one type of stem cell that can provide regeneration of any kind of tissue. The Embryonic Stem Cell (ESC) is the one cell that can change peoples lives forever. However, some may carry a dim view of the ESC. As their name suggests these cells are derived from embryos. This means, in order to acquire this type of cell from embryos, it would involve in the elimination of an embryo. Evidently, an abortion would have to take place. Since the subject of abortions has always erupted into debates, many people have been reluctant to take either side. With an option to finally put the suffering of mankind to rest, it has been brought to the attention of the medical world. Given brief knowledge of what stem cells are and where they come from, those affiliated with it are forced to make the ethical decision of whether saving an existing life is worth curtailing a potential life. Of course with this controversial issue there are people that are advocates for stem cell research and others are 100 percent against it, filled with fear and hatred of this new discovery. These cells are literally a matter of life or death, but can save lives ensuring them to be longer and healthier.
According to Nancy Reagan, “Embryonic stem cell research has the potential to alleviate so much suffering. Surely, by working together, we can harness its life-giving potential.” The increase in understanding of what is possible with stem cells, has led the topic of stem cell research to become one of the biggest social issues of our time. Over the last couple of decades, it has come down to two main types of stem cells: embryonic and those derived from adults. This is where the lines are drawn and arguments break out, because of personal morals and ethics. However, most people feel that stem cells are a great alternative to other treatments - until the topic turns to embryonic stem cells, in which a human embryo must be killed in order to harvest these cells. This means that stem cells can be one of two things: 1) stem cell research could be the miracle cure we have been waiting for, or 2) it will it be the cause of World War III.
What kind of research sparks a battle between religious-ethics, political, and scientific theories and beliefs? What makes you question right or wrong, moral or immoral, good or bad? The answer is stem cell research. So what is a stem cell? “Stem cells… are in effect, a human self-repair kit.” (Christopher Reeve, activist Larry King, CNN) Stem cells are cells that exist in an undifferentiated state, and can transform into any of the 220 types of cells that exist in our body. Stem cells have the ability to repair many classes of damaged human tissues without the fear of tissue rejection. There are two types of stem cells but the most promising are the embryonic stem cells- labeled as today’s Pandora’s box. These cells have to be obtained from a human embryo; which will ultimately kill it. Do stem cells come at high price? Yet is the price well worth the saved lives? In today’s world, stem cell development continues to rapidly grow through research, which has elucidated its benefits and potential that holds the key to overcoming the controversy surrounding it.
Stem cell research is a very hot topic in society today for many reasons but the benefit outweigh the risks without a doubt. If stem cell research were a regular practice in the medical field, many lives could be saved and quality of life would be improved. Stem cells are basically undifferentiated cells that can transform into whatever type of tissue is surrounding it. These stem cells have the ability to heal all types of damaged human tissue and would save countless lives. However there is a drawback: only one type of stem cell has the ability to regenerate into any tissue and that is the embryonic stem cell. Embryonic stem cells are just that- stem cells that come from embryos of unborn fetuses. Naturally there has risen a huge debate about this topic. On the one hand, scientists have the ability to fix life, cure diseases, and heal the unhealable. While on the other hand, they must “take life” in order to do so.
“How can the use of stem cells be so controversial?”, one may ask. If the stem cells are donated out of free will or were going to be destroyed anyway, how can putting them to better use be controversial? Sure, a potential life must be destroyed to save a life, but only before one can tell that it is a human. Should the use of stem cells for medical research and use be regulated? These questions and more will be discussed and pondered throughout this paper.
Of the many controversial issues in the United States, stem cell research stands among the top. People either think the destruction of human embryos is necessary to save the lives of others, or they think “the ends don’t justify the means”. Both sides have valid arguments, but when considering the future possibilities that can derive from embryonic stem cell research, the solution is clear. Stem cell research should definitely be practiced along with a strong emphasis on embryonic stem cell research. In order for any of this to happen, the United States government must fund the research. The funding of embryonic stem cells will allow for technologies to be improved to the point where eventually the destruction of embryos will no longer be required.