Few advances in modern science have generated as much excitement and public debate as the discovery of human embryonic stem cells (hESC). The debate over the use of embryonic stem cells in research has polarized the global community along the lines of those who argue that such research holds the promise of medical breakthroughs for many currently incurable diseases and ailments, while opponents condemn such research as it involves the destruction of a potential human life and is seen as humanity “playing God”. There are no clear cut answers to the moral debate concerning this particular area of stem cell research. At the core of the debate lies the ethical question of which is the more valuable; the life of a human being suffering from a fatal illness or life threatening injury, or the life of a potential human being? These are the difficult questions faced by both the scientists engaged in the research, the legislators who define the laws governing such research and the public as a whole.
This issue is being debated in the government and other political aspects as to whether the research should be done. The reason there is a debate over whether to do embryonic stem cell research is that we as humans believe that a life should be allowed to live. Ethically is it wrong to conduct research on a living being if it means that that being does not survive. Religion has also gotten into the debate on embryonic stem cell research and proposes that it goes against God’s teachings and that it is morally wrong. The embryo is still a living being no matter what age it might be and research is taking that embryo and doing research on it killing it in the process and not giving it a chance to be what it should have been.
The prospective advantage of using embryonic stem cells is fascinating. Embryonic stem cells are capable of becoming any cell type in the body making them more versatile than adult stem cells. There is a possibility that the patient’s body can reject the adult cells because their derivative is from cells that are not a patient’s own. Supporters of research state that stem cells from embryos are acceptable for research since the embryos are not considered to be human and is vital to the possible future cure of so... ... middle of paper ... ...es Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity (2002) Human Embryo Experimentation: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Unethical (Roman Espejo, Ed). Greenhaven : At Issue Series.
Journal of Medical Ethics 2000 26, p 166-70 Meyer, Michael J. and Lawrence J. Nelson. Respecting What We Destroy: Reflections on Human Embryo Research. Hastings Center Report 2001 31, no 1. p 16-23 National Institutes of Health. Stem Cell Primer. www.nih.gov/news/stemcell/primer.htm Noonan,John T. Jr, ed.
However, there is a great deal of debate by some who question the moral and ethical use of ES cells, believing that life begins at fertilization. Supporters argue that we have an obligation to help others who are suffering by using ES cells, because they are consider potential life. The question is do we have the right to use ES cells for research purposes when the embryos will be grown specifically for research and destruction? And if so, should this research be funded by the government? First of all, what are ES cells and how can they help us?
It is respectable that people value their religious beliefs; nevertheless, there is a palpable difference between improving the quality of life and surpassing immoral boundaries. Gene therapy is powerful enough to prohibit cells from endangering the body and heal the suffering. Rejecting such treatment could be torturous; thus, gene therapy is eth... ... middle of paper ... ...ies In Medical Morality, 18(2), 126-144. Life Span Extension. (2006, July 6).
I. Introduction The desecration of life by use of embryonic stem cells is not necessary with alternatives such as adult, placenta, and umbilical stem cells available which hold promising results. Stem cell research definitely has shown its ability to benefit humanity, but at what lengths? At what cost? America along with the world continues to battle against embryonic stem cell research as it results in termination of a human life form.
2012. Hook, et al. "The Science And Ethics Of Induced Pluripotency: What Will Become Of Embryonic Stem Cells?." Mayo Clinic Proceedings 86.7 (2011): 634-640. CINAHL Plus with Full Text.