Should Stem Cell Research be prohibited?
The ongoing bioethical controversy of stem cells research has been debated in political arenas across the world. As with any debate there are two sides to the issue. Scientific researchers want to expand their research into emerging fields like stem cell research in hopes of bettering medicine for the future. Human right activists and some religious groups are against this type of research because the harvesting of stem cells from embryos is seen as the destruction of human life. These activists believe using human tissue as a starting point for new cell development is unnatural; killing one person to help another (author). Nevertheless, it is an unconventional and controversial type of medicine that could prove to be groundbreaking. With the proliferation of disease such as cancer in our society, stem cell research must be furthered implored in order to cure diseases and save countless lives despite the ethical controversy it has created.
Stem cells are cells that have not differentiated to form specialized tissues, and can be found in the blastocyst during the embryological growth, as well as in the bone marrow of adult tissues. However, those that are collected in the inner mass of the embryo seem to hold more potential for producing newer treatments for diseases because unlike adult cells these embryonic cells are pluripotent. Embryonic stem cells are the fundamental building blocks for most specialized cells in the body (author). Stem cells are pluripotent, they can grow to become many cell types and can be used as a way to replace damaged or diseases cells. For example, a patient with nerve damage as a result of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can have some of their inactive nerve cells replaced with stem cells. The hope is that stem cells will grow into healthy nerve cells, to replace the damaged one. In this case stem cells would be grown in controlled environment, and then inserted into the ALS patient to replace the diseased cells. Cells in the human body are specialized to do a specific job (e.g blood cells, nerve cells, and pancreatic cell, etc.) Therefore it makes sense to support stem cell research, since they can potentially replace/repair many different and critical specialized cells in the body. Stem cell research promises an enhancement in medicine for mankind by providing treatment for a range of human disease and injury in one single cell type.
The people against stem cell research are mainly conservative human right activists religious communities. In Europe, Italy and Germany strictly prohibit stem cell research, arguing that it is inhuman to tamper with a human embryo which they consider to be a human life. In 2004, the Italian government created a law that banned all sperm or egg donations and the freezing of embryos for stem cell research (author). Even in the United States there are organizations that are against...