An Assessment of The Greatest Medical Breakthrough the use of Pluripotent Stem Cells
A critical review of the pro and con analysis, of arguably, the most controversial issue of the 21st century—the use of pluripotent stems cells. In addition, the ensuing synthesis and prescription based upon empirical data and critical thinking. Given the enormous promise of pluripotent stem cells to the development of new treatments for the most devastating diseases, we believe our scientific researchers and medical professionals should be permitted and encouraged to simultaneously pursue pluripotent stem cell research. Further, the ban on federal funding of research on new stem cell lines should be overturn, allowing doctors and scientists to explore their full potential with the appropriate ethical oversight.
An Assessment of
The Greatest Medical Breakthrough—the use of Pluripotent Stem Cells
Thesis: The greatest medical breakthrough in any lifetime—the use of pluripotent stems cells.
Background: Stem cell research continues to be a controversial issue. Stem cells are cells that have a particular function, like blood stem cells whose function is to make different types of blood cells or skin stem cells whose function is to make various types of skin cells. Stem cells evolve from pluripotent stem cells, cells that makeup the inner cell mass of the embryonic blastocell. As the pluripotent stem cells specialize, they form stem cells with the specific kinds of purposes mentioned above. Stem cells are controversial because the most useful variety of stem cells comes from embryos at the blastocyst stage, meaning the cells are taken from embryos of aborted fetuses or from surplus embryos left over from In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Despite such controversy, many researchers and medical professionals argue that pluripotent embryos have “the potential to revolutionize the practice of medicine and improve the quality and length of life” for millions of individuals (NIH, 2002, p. 1). For these reasons, the use of pluripotent stem cells potentially represent the greatest medical breakthrough of any era in history and federal funding for such research must be approved.
Pro Analysis: The unique ability of embryonic pluripotent stem cells shows tremendous medical promise. Pluripotent stem cells shed light on the way cells are programmed to specialize. Understanding this information may lead to cures for cancer, birth defects, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lymphoma, spinal cord injuries or other deadly diseases, as many such conditions are caused by “abnormal cell specialization” (NIH, 2002, p. 3). Likewise, many people in need of organ transplants must wait until a suitable donor organ is available and a significant percentage die because no such suitable organ becomes available. Pluripotent stem cells offer the ability to grow new...