In the United States of America, people have many rights and freedoms that are respected by the Federal Government. As stated in Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau: “There will never be a truly free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power” (225). In the goal to make America a truly free and enlightened state, laws have been enacted to preserve individual rights. With the furthering of medical science, the issue of individual rights vs. government regulation has been raised many times, and the right of the individual has always been held in the highest regard. This is why our government should both legalize and fund embryonic stem cell research.
The free choices granted us by our laws have always had certain limitations. To maintain a balance of freedom without anarchy, our laws governing individual action prevent someone from infringing on the rights of another. John Stuart Mill states in his essay “On Liberty,” that “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others” (390). Each individual should be free to voice certain opinions and practice certain activities, as long as they are doing no harm to others. For instance, we have the right to drive, but not to drive recklessly. We have the right to own a gun, but not to use that gun to murder somebody. We have the right to our own property, but not to someone else’s property. All of these laws were made to protect the rights of the individual from malicious actions of another, and it is by the power of the federal government that these laws are enforced. ...
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Kluger, Jeffrey., and Lemonick, Michael D. “And What About the Science?” Time
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Thoreau, Henry David. “Civil Disobedience.” Reading, Writing, and the Humanities. United States of America: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 2003.
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