Politics Of Stem Cell Research Essay

1658 words - 7 pages

"It's time to lift the political barriers blocking the stem cell research that could treat or cure diseases like Parkinson's. I believe that science can bring hope to our families. I want America to lead the world in the medical breakthroughs of the future. There's no time to wait. At stake are millions of lives. I'm John Kerry and I approved this message because America can do better. It's time to take America in a new direction."
Senator John Kerry made these remarks in a 30-second television ad which aired before the 2004 presidential election. This ad was aired in "battleground" states, states in which both candidates would have needed for a victory. The stem cell research issue began to affect the presidential election August 2003 when Senator Kerry made vocal the lack of effort that President Bush is exerting in his policies. In my research I will show how politics and stem-cell research are intertwined with one another and that they do relate with politics. I will first give a brief definition of stem cell research, and then I will show both sides of the issue from the 2004 presidential election, lastly I will show how it affects politicians in personal ways.
Before the stem cell research issue concerning President Bush and Senator Kerry should be addressed, an overview of stem cell research in general is imperative to gaining a better understanding on the candidates' position. First of all, stem cells are called "non-programmed" cells in that they can differentiate into specific cells to certain areas of the body. They are derived from fertilized embryos or unfertilized eggs. These cells can replace damaged cells as well as malignant cells anywhere in the body by forming solid and healthy tissue walls. Thus, stem cells offer hope to people afflicted with fatal and incurable diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. In the past three years, stem cells have been discovered and successfully derived in areas of the body such as the bone marrow, spinal cord, and more remarkably, the umbilical cord. These undifferentiated cells could someday overcome great leaps and bounds if utilized accordingly. But from the antagonistic standpoint, some people feel that stem cell research equates abortion since the culling of stem cells involves killing the embryo. President Bush is passionately against abortion, yet he has taken a significant step in furthering stem cell research; at the same time, though, he is not taking a large enough step.
Although President Bush has taken great strides in the furthering of stem cell research, he has enforced boundaries that undermine the reason for this intricate research. In 2001, he was the first president to legally fund stem cell research, a fact that the Kerry campaign tended to overlook but the Republican Party takes great pride in. First Lady Laura Bush has mentioned in the past "Although you might not know about it from listening to the news lately, the president also...

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