Stem Cell Research Essay

1454 words - 6 pages

President George W. Bush, Jr. spent much time debating with all types of people before making his decision on one of the most controversial issues in our society, stem cell research. The first step he took was becoming knowledgeable on stem cells. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that renew themselves for long periods of time through cell division. Researchers discovered stem cells in the tissues and organs of adults, human embryos, and the newest, umbilical cords. The most promising research seems to exist with the human embryonic stem cells; however, the research is slowing down thanks to the ethical debates among Americans. Many people believe that the embryonic stem cells are obtained by killing a baby, but scientists say that these cells have a potential for life. For the cells to continue their process and become a human being, they have to attach to the wall of the uterus. The cells used for this research are available through in vitro fertilization. In vitro fertilization is the process of making a baby in a Petri dish and then finishing it by injecting some of the cells into a female. The leftovers remain in a freezer until the parents decide the future of them. The options are to throw them away, give them to another couple, or allow their use in research. Common sense should tell a person to use the leftover stem cells for research rather than throw them away. Embryonic stem cell experimentation is necessary to further the research on the reversal of debilitating diseases.One of the most known arguments is a simple question: when does life begin? The average American would stumble through the answer. Many contend that life begins as soon as the sperm enters the egg; others feel it begins to differentiate or look like a baby, while others simply cannot decide. A researcher best explained the answer to our President. He said that "when it's just a cluster-only five days old-it is not an embryo yet but has the potential for life. It is not a life because it cannot develop on its own".(Bush 4). With this knowledge, Bush decided to allow federal funding for the research on the already existing sixty-five cell lines from embryos and created a council of doctors, lawyers, and ethicists to keep him informed on the progress (Bush 4). His decision was a step in the right direction because it "provided for peer review and regulation and often is more experimental than industrial research designed to develop a specific product" (Helen 3).Once the Americans start to think about Bush's decision, they find themselves asking "Okay, should all types of stem cells be researched or should just one type have full emphasis?" Scientists and researchers found adult stem cells in the brain, bone marrow, peripheral blood, blood vessels, skeletal, muscle, skin, and liver (NIH 7-8). These cells are in small quantities, difficult to isolate and purify, and may decrease with age(Adult 2). It seems even though the adult stem cell research is still in its infancy,...

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