The Ethics And Potential Of Stem Cell Research

1211 words - 5 pages

In England, during the late 1790s, physician Edward Jenner discovered how to vaccinate people against smallpox. Approximately 190 years later, in 1980, smallpox was declared eradicated (Edward Jenner). Today, humanity continues to follow in Jenner’s footsteps through working to cure and eradicate diseases that threaten people across the globe. Unfortunately, however, vaccines and antibiotics do not always work, and scientists need to find new ways in which to cure the diseases that have yet to be cured, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes. The key to curing these ailments is through embryonic stem cell research, which can be used as a form of regenerative medicine, as well as helping scientists understand how and why people fall ill, and can also assist in testing medicines for a variety of afflictions. Therefore, embryonic stem cell research should continue to be legal in the United States.
Embryonic stem cell research has the potential to revolutionize the medical field by assisting scientists in their perpetual search for the cures to deadly diseases that puzzle epidemiologists today. According to the New York Stem Cell Institute, “regenerative medicine holds the promise of new ways to repair cardiovascular damage and of improved cancer treatment. Moreover, there are many other diseases that stand to be positively impacted by stem cell research including: stroke, respiratory disease, diabetes (respectively three, four, and seven on the CDC list of causes of death), neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries, and some birth defects.” (NYSTEM) Furthermore, the great medical potential of stem cells has recently been put to use: according to the Americans for Cures Foundation, scientists and doctors are already taking advantage of this potential, and have been using stem cells to make patches of tissue for burn victims, islet cells --which produce insulin-- for those with diabetes, and healthy brain cells for those with Parkinson’s disease (Stem Cell Facts). Through regenerative therapy and use of stem cells in other forms of epidemiological research, scientists will be able to make major breakthroughs in medical research, and thus discover the cures to the diseases that plague humanity today, and take thousands of lives.
In addition to using stem cells for medical research, stem cells and their regenerative abilities can be used to replace organ donations altogether, which also allows for the preservation of human life. Unfortunately, the quantity of patients that need an organ transplant greatly outnumbers the amount of people who are willing to donate their organs (Stem Cells and Diseases). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a person is added to an organ donation waiting list every ten minutes, and an average of eighteen people die each day because they did not receive an organ transplant that they needed to survive (Need Is Real). Growing new organs through the use of stem cells can...

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