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Stem Cell Research: Murder Or Salvation?

1423 words - 6 pages

In June of 2004, former President Ronald Regan died of Alzheimer's disease after having suffered from it for over a decade. Former First Lady Nancy Regan immediately began lobbying for President Bush to be more lenient with regard to embryonic stem cell research, which in theory, could have saved her husband from his years of suffering and his eventual death. Embryonic stem cell research has been a topic of widespread debate for as long as it has existed. The dividing factor in the debate over embryonic stem cell research is, to put it very simply, whether an embryo is a person or not. Generally, those categorized as being "pro-choice" do not consider an embryo to be a person and are therefore greatly in favor of the continuation and increase of embryonic stem cell research. Conversely, those who are categorized as being "pro-life" do consider an embryo to be a person and therefore oppose any embryonic stem cell research. However, an embryo's death is insufficient to warrant the cessation of embryonic stem cell research because this research will lead to the prevention of countless years of suffering, as well as countless deaths.Stem cells, also known as pluripotent cells, are some of the first cells to exist in a human embryo. Over time, each specific group of stem cells develops into one of the 220 types of more complex cells, which will make up an organ in an organism. Embryonic stem cell research is the researching of methods that can be used to isolate, extract, and develop groups of stem cells from embryos with the purpose of furthering human health. Embryonic stem cells are collected from embryos after the embryos are placed under a microscope and the stem cells are isolated and extracted. This process results in the death of the embryo (Religious). The embryos used in this research come from surplus embryos in fertility clinics as well as aborted embryos, most of which would otherwise be wasted.A major reason for the opposition to embryonic stem cell research is that the embryo that the stem cells are extracted from will die as a direct result of the cells' extraction. Those deemed pro-life consider the death of the embryo to be murder. This is based on the concept that from the time of conception, the embryo is alive because it is comprised by DNA. Additionally, the embryo is considered a human person because from the time of its conception, the embryo is given a soul. Pro-lifers claim that the extraction of stem cells from the embryo results in the murder of this soul and therefore must be prohibited (Bootstrike). Colleen Parro, spokesperson for the Republican National Coalition for Life, exemplifies this idea in her statement "we do not believe that human beings should ever be sacrificed for the benefit of another" (Religious). This seems to say that while the Republican National Coalition for Life recognizes the benefit that humanity would receive from embryonic stem cell research, the embryo that would die would be an unacceptable...

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