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Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research

864 words - 4 pages

Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Stem cells are an undifferentiated cell that is capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cell arise by differentiation. These unique cells are found in tissues, organs, and bone marrow. In 1978, scientists discovered that human umbilical cord blood contain blood stem cells and immediately began experiments to tests their uses. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin isolated grew the first stem cells from human embryos using in vitro fertilization in 1998 and by the following year understood that stem cells could differentiate. Two contributors to modern day research were Dr. James Thompson, who lead the isolation and grow in Wisconsin and Dr. Robert George, who is an associated professor at Harvard University. The ethical controversy around embryonic stem cell research is partly due to the fact people do not completely understand what it is. In learning more about the process, its functions, and the views of those who conduct research, the probability to gain future funding may increase with the growing public knowledge.
Many people believe that the embryos used during research are human beings and by using them, we are not respecting life. However, as Michael Sandel states ‘you don’t have to regard an embryo as a full human person to believe that it is due a certain respect." In saying this, Sandel is telling the world that even though scientists do not feel the embryos are human due to the lack of development, they are treated with respect. However, scientists may have more respect for these cells due to the knowledge they have of their capabilities.
Most cells are taken from the embryo nine-weeks are conception and are very different from a baby. ‘Embryos do not yet have a consciousness, are incapable of feeling emotions or physical sensations, and do not possess other qualities that make humans human’ (Skancke). Again Michael is conveying to listeners that these cells are in no way human because they lack the characteristics. Even though these embryonic stem cells have the potential to become a human being, they are not considered humans because they are missing key points in being humans. Thus, the theory that scientists commit murder is false and in actually highly respects their specimens.
Another misguided judgment is that this type of research is immortal. However, as Robert Menendez explains ‘stem cell research has vast potential for curing diseases, alleviating suffering and saving lives’ (Skancke). Stem cell research has the ability to cure many diseases including Alzheimer’s, liver and kidney diseases, diabetes, and maybe...

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