Unlike adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells have a higher risk of causing tumor formation in the patient's body after the stem cells are implanted. This is due to their higher capacities for proliferation and differentiation Devolder Embryonic stem cell-based therapies also possess the risk of immunorejection — rejection of the stem cells by the patient's immune system.
Stem Cell Research Persuasive Essay - Pros & Cons Examples
Because embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos donated for research after in vitro fertilization treatment, the marker molecules on the surfaces of the cells may not be recognized by the patient's body, and therefore may be destroyed as the result of a defense mechanism by the body Holland This is a problem that will require a solution if embryonic stem cell research is to be the basis for future therapeutic medicine.
Currently, the isolation of embryonic stem cells requires the destruction of an early embryo. Many people hold the belief that a human embryo has significant moral status, and therefore should not be used merely as a means for research. One position that opponents of embryonic stem cell research assert is what "The Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research" calls the full moral status view This view holds that "the early embryo has the same moral status, that is, the same basic moral rights, claims, or interests as an ordinary adult human being.
Stem Cell Research : Stem Cells
Therefore, with full moral status as a human being, an embryo should not be deliberately destroyed for research purposes simply because it is human Devolder The Roman Catholic Church is a strong supporter of this view, opposing stem cell research on the grounds that it is a form of abortion. Several other groups, including American evangelicals and Orthodox ethicists, consider "blastocysts to have the same status as fully developed human beings" and therefore oppose embryonic stem cell research for this reason.
Beliefs regarding the moral status of an embryo are subjective, and also their own controversial issue, which complicates the task of creating a universal law for the use of embryonic stem cells for research. Others in opposition, such as Kevin T. Fitzgerald, a Jesuit priest who is a bioethicist and professor of oncology at Georgetown University Medical School, do not consider the moral status of an embryo, but rather assert that Embryos should be protected because they are "that which we all once were" Clemmitt This view is very similar to moral philosopher and professor of philosophy as the University of California at Irvine Philip Nickel's "Loss of Future Life Problem" in regards to embryonic stem cell research.
The Loss of Future Life Problem holds that it is unethical to take the lives of future humans by destroying embryos for research Tobis This stance stresses the potential of those future lives that will never have the chance to reach fulfillment if destroyed for research. In a retroactive sense, this can cause us to question "what if the embryo that developed into Albert Einstein was destroyed for embryonic stem cell research?
The response to this problem is that the particular blastocysts that are harvested for embryonic stem cell research are taken from 1 embryos that are frozen during in vitro fertilization procedures and never implanted, 2 donated egg cells, and 3 embryos created specifically for the purpose of generating new stem cell lines. In each of these cases, the embryo at hand does not have a future life in plan and therefore, nothing is lost by using such embryonic stem cells for research. For embryos created via in vitro fertilization, the researchers using the embryos are not making a decision that results in the loss of a future life.
The future life of said embryo is lost when the decision is made to not implant it. Therefore, the Loss of Future Life Problem is not a valid objection to research using embryonic stem cells from frozen IVF embryos that are never implanted. Donated egg cells can be fertilized in a lab or through somatic cell nuclear transfer, a process described earlier in this paper. Embryos created specifically for the purpose of contributing to stem cell research have no actual future life to be lost from the moment of conception.
In both of these cases, the intent of fertilization is not to create a future adult human being, and so the Loss of Future Life Problem does not apply to these sources of embryonic stem cells. If fertilization takes place outside a woman's body, by contrast, then the embryo is not already on its way toward a future life, so destroying it does not deprive it of that particular future" Tobis As shown by the various arguments in this essay, the debate over embryonic stem cell research is a multifaceted scientific, moral, ethical, and political issue.
Embryonic stem cells, with their pluripotent potential and self-renewing quality, hold great value for scientific researchers in search of cures for untreatable diseases, progress in regenerative medicine, or a better understanding of early human development. However, the ethical question still arises, "do the ends justify the means?
Varying views regarding the ethical status of an embryo answer this question in different ways, though it is commonly accepted that if the means of obtaining the embryonic stem cells are ethical, then the resulting research of those stem cells is also ethical. For example, if a donated egg is fertilized in a lab with the intention of being used for future research purposes, the resulting research is therefore morally justified.
This is not to be said that the life of an early-stage embryo is to be taken lightly. More so that our moral perception of these embryos is different than that of a later-stage fetus, an infant, or an adult human being. Phillip Nickel asserts this subconscious difference, claiming that,. This shows that people do view embryos as somewhat different from people, even though they may not realize it" Clemmitt Thus, the moral distinction between a blastocyst and a developed fetus weakens the moral arguments in opposition to embryonic stem cell research.
After all, if this research can reduce suffering for thousands of people, are we not morally obligated to pursue it? Scientists in support of embryonic stem cell research are currently restricted by the limited amounts of federal funding and embryonic stem cell lines available for research.
Clearly, this conflict ultimately surpasses the bounds of science itself and is grounded in the differing religions and broader worldviews of different groups of people within the nation. As Robertson has written:. Stem cell science is thus drawn into the ongoing, highly divisive wars over abortion and the culture of life that have occupied a central stage in American law and politics over the last 30 years" Stem cell research is thus a highly partisan issue, and it is likely to remain that way over the foreseeable future.
Again, this is because the real points of contention that surround the issue surpass the scope of science or even reason more generally; they touch on people's fundamental beliefs about what it means to be human. For example:. Both positions would be cogent within the context of their own assumptions; and it would be difficult if not impossible to rationally discredit either set of assumptions. Need an essay arguing this point? Ultius can help!enter site
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In addition, it is worth pointing out that even adult stem cell research is controversial, insofar as stem cell research in general has the potential to lead to human cloning. The basic point here would be that human beings are engaging with a dangerous power that may be intimately connected with the very origins of life itself. If there were no God, then there would naturally be no problem with human beings pushing their knowledge to the limits.
On the other hand, if one did believe in God, then it would be possible to argue that stem cell research is an attempt by humans to usurp His role.
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As with the morality of the destruction of embryos, this question can be expected to remain open for a quite long time. In summary, this essay has provided a historical and scientific overview of the issue of stem cell research. It began with an introduction to the issue, proceeded to discuss the scientific and political history of the issue, and finally reflected on the current situation regarding the issue. One of the main points that has emerged here and throughout research paper writing on the subject is that although stem cell research clearly has a great deal of potential for catalyzing medical breakthroughs, the research agenda has been limited to at least some extent by legislative barriers based on moral concerns.
Given the nature of the issue at hand, these latter concerns clearly are not irrelevant. Moreover, it could even be suggested that without the barriers, certain recent scientific innovations such as those pertaining to adult stem cells may not have come about. In general, then, it is perhaps a good idea for stem cell research to proceed in the cautious and pragmatic way that it has thus far.
American Medical Association.
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Bongso, Ariff, and Mark Richards. Lovell-Badge, Robin. Research America. Robertson, John A. Science Progress. Wertz, D. Ultius, Inc. Ultius Blog, 02 Jan. Click here for more help with MLA citations. Click here for more help with APA citations. January 02, Click here for more help with CMS citations. Click here for more help with Turabian citations.
Ultius is the trusted provider of content solutions and matches customers with highly qualified writers for sample writing, academic editing, and business writing. Ultius is the trusted provider of content solutions for consumers around the world. Using mouse skin cells, he returned them to an embryonic state and demonstrated how these cells could then redevelop into any part of the body Holmes, They are examining each disease at the cellular level so they can understand them.
Scientists are hoping to replace damaged cells with healthy ones, as well as find therapies that can help control degenerative diseases. Other physical ailments this discovery can help with are type 1 diabetes, serious spinal cord injuries, and muscular degeneration. Doctors are giving heart attack victims infusions of cardiac stem cells to increase the vitality of the heart muscle and to help it pump. Also, special stem cells are used in trials for patients with retinal disease, which causes blindness, to determine whether stem cells can restore their sight Holmes, Yamanaka and Gurdon were awarded the Noble Prize because their revolutionary discovery removed roadblocks to further scientific research.
ETHICAL ISSUES IN EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH
Controversy has hampered research in this area of science, even though it has the potential to make life better for people and also to save many lives. Previously, governments around the world had forbidden experimentation on human embryos and the Vatican had condemned the studies. All of those arguments concerning stem cell research have been removed. Stem cell research has been a controversial topic for years. Yamanaka purposefully attempted to develop a procedure that would push science forward as well as silence critics.
The Nobel Prize Committee awarded the prize to these two scientists because of the potential to research further into areas that will benefit humankind. References France-Presse Holmes, D.
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