Researching the future potential of embryonic stem cells is the new hot topic debate in ethics. The moral objections from two opposing sides clash in a political and ethical battle of who is correct. Each faction tries to define the classification of what deserves unalienable human rights. Likewise, determining what is classified as human behavior such as sentiment, interests and pain has been the ground on which pro-stem cell research stand. Since these embryos share only genetic similarities and no human characteristics, it is permissible to this stance to kill them in the name of medicine.
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.
In short, researchers (who have a zest for scientific answers) are wearing a different hat than an individual who desires healthcare. What with Stella being close to death, my response is to attempt to try everything and anything to save her. If giving birth to Mia through cloning so that Stella can live and Mia can have a fantastic life (with the same amount of hardships as other people) then I think that the scenario for cloning is more than justifiable. On the other hand, I do think that it is important to make sure that others have reasonable healthcare prior to doing extra research on the cloning of human subjects. Finally, I chose to use names for the children so that the reader would have a more personal connection to both the child who was dying and the child who gets to live.
Science as savior" (qtd. in Peters and Bennett 184). The belief of science as "savior" has become so intense and desired by these researchers, that "faith in this research has come to resemble a secular religion...and as a bellow to blow the political winds in their favor" (qtd. in Peters and Bennett). But one may argue that the derivation of cells from a human embryo is against their conservative beliefs, and that that embryo is a living person who has rights that protect its dignity.
One of the morality issues of today is stem cell research and cloning. Mankind has found a way to manipulate human cells into something that could save lives. This is a moral issue because even though it can be used to help people, the process of obtaining these cells could be harmful to others. A lot of times innocent embryos are hurt purely for tests and because people are focused on the embryo stem cells, they have little idea that similar results can be obtained from the stem cells of adult donors. The problem with cloning is that it manipulates an existing cell with DNA from a patient or donor and as humans; mistakes are made so the result isn’t exactly correct.
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?
I will argue that the opposition of embryonic stem cell research is counterintuitive and detrimental to society as a whole because it is vital to further human advancement in the fields of science and medicine, and that neglecting to reap the benefits of stem cell research can actually cost more lives than it saves. I will also be examining the role politics have played in attempting to resolve this issue. Stem cells can prove to be a useful tool in the area of disease research, health drug development, as well as regenerative medicine. In fact, realizing the immense potential of the properties held by stem cells, scientists working in the field of regenerative medicine have begun to use some“…basic stem cell knowledge to develop specific cell[s] or tissue to replace the original cells or tissue, which has been degenerated, injured or damaged by different processes” (Alenzi 19929). The s... ... middle of paper ... ...s in the field of stem cell research, and by extension the fields of science and medicine.
Is it ethical to kill a being classified in biological terms as a life form for the potential advancement of science? Is an embryo even worthy of rights if it can’t think, feel, or communicate? Or do the positives of embryonic stem cell research so far outweigh the negatives that the sacrifice is minimal? Adversaries of embryonic research explain that it is absolutely unethical, while supporters argue that this research is essential to our medical future. There may never be one right answer.
While many argue that embryonic stem cell research holds the potential of developing cures for a number of illnesses that affect many individuals, such research is performed at the cost of destroying a life and should therefore not be pursued. Stem cells are pluripotent cells of the body which are “undifferentiated.” This means that stem cells can ultimately give rise to any type of body tissue. Thus stem cells have the potential to cure a vast number of diseases and physical ailments including Parkinson’s, diabetes, spinal cord injury, and heart disease. Consequently, stem cell research and the development of associated medical applications are of great interest to the scientific and medical community. The area of stem cell research involving human embryonic stem cells is of particular interest in that embryonic stem cells are derived from week-old blastocysts developed from in vitro fertilized eggs.
Now think of a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or paralysis. Would you deny them a life without suffering if the cure for the disease could be obtained by performing research on an aborted fetus already destined for destruction? It is my belief that scientists should be able to do stem cell research within carefully defined moral parameters because this research is so promising to cure so many diseases and teach us so much about how our bodies work. However, embryos destined for destruction should be used for stem cell research rather than created embryos because there are several thousands of embryos that will be destroyed so it is not necessary to create more embryos and destroy them. Stem cell research remains highly promising in that “Animal research suggests stem cells may some day provide a way to repair or replace diseased tissues and organs” and it holds immense possibilities for cures of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, paralysis, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes (The Lancet par.