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Is Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ethical Or Not?

869 words - 4 pages

Although some find embryonic stem cells unethical, supporting embryonic stem cell research will benefit humankind in many aspects.
While many support embryonic stem cell research, some people oppose it say that it is an unethical practice. According to these people, embryonic stem cells require murdering a baby, human life is defined by rational beings, those capable of rational thought or a consciousness. In order to be rational one must have a consciousness, the ability to have thoughts and feel pain, to begin with. “For a fertilized egg, there is no consciousness and also no history of consciousness” (Stem). If abortions are allowed within the United States, why shouldn’t embryonic stem cell research be? Another claim against embryonic stem cell research is that it devalues human lives. “Some argue that researching embryonic stem cells will lead us into cloning technology” (Embryonic). While embryonic cloning is a possibility, we already possess the capabilities to clone so cloning is an invalid argument. The final argument against embryonic stem cell research is that there are alternatives, like adult stem cells. While adult stem cells may be utilized, they won’t be as effective. Embryonic stem cells are not only efficient but also renewable. They can be grown in a culture where as adult stem cells are extremely rare, if there are any. They can only be found in mature tissue. Isolating these extremely rare cells is challenging and has a high failure rate if not harvested correctly. “One major difference between adult and embryonic stem cells is their different abilities in the number and type of differentiated cell types they can become” (Stem). Using adult stem cells we might never understand our development from conception in the uterus. Embryonic stem cells offer us answers to some of the most mysterious events in our lives.
One of the many benefits from embryonic stem cells is the ability to cure birth defects. “By injecting stem cells directly into the brain, scientists have been able to cure neural birth defects in mice whose mothers were given heroin while pregnant” (“Norrander”). Even though a good portion of the injected cells did not survive; the brains cells gained the ability to carry our more drastic repairs than before. “The hippocampus of the heroin exposed mice had disruption in their biochemical pathways. This caused the mice to lose the ability to remember; however, with transplanted stem cells, they were able to produce more cells in the hippocampus, allowing them to remember event and obstacles better than ever before” (“Norrander”). Many millions of people are born with birth defects whether from heroin...

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