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Stem Cells, A Titanic Debate Of Bioethics

1506 words - 6 pages

Scientists around the world are determined to find answers to the most challenging questions in life. Stem cell research is the product of striving to find answers to severe medical conditions. There’s strong evidence to support this research as a viable option for regenerative medicine in treating the nervous system and neurological disorders. Stem cells have proved to be beneficial for finding the cures needed to treat cancers and diseases such as diabetes, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease (stemcyte). Currently, laws dealing with stem cell research have been passed from the federal government to the states, with each state deciding not only the restrictions implemented on research, but if stem cell research is legal within their borders. With emotions on this topic reaching climatic levels, it should be the responsibility of the federal government to pass legislation that not only protects stem cell research, but guarantees a future.

The innovation of stem cell research has exposed new opportunities to exploring and reaching a better understanding of the human body. Embryonic stem cells play a vital part in the advancement of this research. Pluripotent stem cells such as the ones obtained from human embryos have the ability to become any other cell type like blood, bone, and skin (stemcells.nih). The ability to research and understand the process of how certain cell types develop is crucial to finding cures for diseases. Gathering a collective of pluripotent stem cells can be used to establish stem cell lines for other researchers around the world. The ability to produce new stem cells from those collected is far more efficient than going through the fertilization process. Being able to freeze and store the stem cells indefinitely will allow more scientists to be able to do research and work towards finding treatments for severe illnesses.

Despite the knowledge gained from the trials performed with stem cells, the U.S legislation has been very troubling for scientists to pursue their research. Until recently, the funding for embryonic stem cell research has been limited to private parties who have shown great interest in the future of this research. Former President George W. Bush, had limited the use of taxpayer money to only the 21 stem cell lines that had been produced before his decision to ban federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Bush had argued he was defending human life because days old embryos, although typically from fertility clinics that were produced for research, are destroyed to create stem cell lines (CBS). This ban on stem cell research had lasted for over eight years until President Barack Obama was voted into office, and had lifted the ban on federal funding for stem cell engineering.

As scientists pursue their investigation of stem cells, the use of a human embryo for research is deemed as morally wrong. In order to obtain embryonic stem cells the embryo must be destroyed at an early stage....

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