Another valuable benefit of embryonic stem cells is their ability to multiply readily and proliferate indefinitely when cultured in the proper conditions Devolder 9. Lastly, embryonic stem cells' pluripotent quality is the main factor that distinguishes them from adult stem cells The ability to differentiate into any cell type creates greater possibilities for the application of embryonic stem cells. Supporters of embryonic stem cell research argue that the research is justified, though it requires the destruction of an embryo, because of the potential for developing cures and preventing unavoidable suffering.
These backers often disagree with the belief that "a blastocyst — even one that is not implanted in a woman's uterus — has the same ethical status as a further-developed human" Clemmitt Arthur Caplan, professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, asserts that "an embryo in a dish is more like a set of instructions or blueprint for a house. It can't build the house. For the cells to develop into a human being requires an interactive process in the uterus between the embryo and the mother" Clemmitt Others in favor of the research, such as Heron, a biotechnology company, claim that "not to develop the technology would do great harm to over million patients in the United States alone who are affected by diseases potentially treatable by the many medical applications of hES [human Embryonic Stem] cells" Holland One example is the previously stated method of using embryonic stem cells to repair damaged tissue or organs.
The only way to restore cellular function in an organ is to literally replace the lost cells and embryonic stem cells provide the best option for producing these cells 3. Embryonic stem cells do also have some disadvantages that should be considered when making the argument for further support of embryonic stem cell research. 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.
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.
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. Many argue that these restrictions are preventing further scientific development and weakening the United States' position as a leading nation in biomedical research.
Some scientists worry that if strict regulations of stem cell research continue, private companies may bypass the standards put in place by the National Institute of Health and conduct unregulated research Clemmitt If the United States wishes to remain a premiere country in biomedical research and maintain order and control of embryonic research being performed, action must be taken to address this issue.
Overall, though the destruction of a life is typically held to be unethical, the moral status of an embryo in the blastocyst stage is unclear and therefore cannot be equated to the moral status of an adult human being.
Also, ethical sources of embryonic stem cells exist that do not take the life of future beings i. For these reasons, in combination with the possibility of reducing suffering for future beings, embryonic stem cell research is ethical under certain circumstances.
As long as the stem cells are isolated in a manner that does not harm an embryo with the plan of developing into an adult human, the subsequent research is ethically justified. With this in mind, embryonic stem cell research should receive greater government funding so that continued progress can be made. An assault against any innocent human being is an assault on humanity in general.
Similar to Eckman, opponents of embryonic stem cell research believe that life begins at conception, the moment a sperm fertilizes an egg, and consequentially the destruction of a week-old human embryo is the destruction of a life.
Though the majority of critical voices appreciate the effort to discover and develop cures for the benefit of suffering individuals through stem cells, they promote utilizing stem cells derived from sources other than human embryos, arguing that such research will not cause harm to another human being. Recent scientific studies have made significant progress studying stem cells obtained from adult cells and umbilical cords, neither of which involves the abortion of a human embryo.
While the arguments in support of human embryonic stem cell research are well intentioned, some have a number of flaws. A claim made by many supporters is that all embryos used in embryonic stem cell research will be destroyed anyway, so it is ultimately more respectful to use the embryo for research than to allow it to go to waste. There are, however, other options for those parents of embryos stored in fertility clinics, one of which is to donate the embryos to other couples struggling with infertility qtd.
Additionally, the number of embryos ultimately required to fully develop and apply embryonic stem cell research will vastly exceed the number of frozen embryos currently provided by fertility clinics. A further development is the prospect of therapeutic cloning in which embryos are cloned for the sole purpose of research.
Farming human embryos sounds like something from a science fiction novel, yet such an idea has been considered increasingly possible with recent scientific advancements. Cloning for scientific purposes begs the question, at what point does life begin such that it becomes unethical to destroy it? Therefore, the attempt to define a point at which life begins past the initial point of conception is futile. As more advanced technologies continue to be developed, society should not continue to define and re-define what constitutes a human life.
Life begins at conception, for it is from this point that an embryo contains all genetic information necessary to develop into a human being. As is suggested by Eckman, simply because an embryo at one week is not as physically mature as one at nine months, it is not any less human, and should therefore not be treated as such. As society further progresses, advancements will continue in the field of science.
Humans must be cautious of compromising the moral standards that define human civilization for the further acquisition of scientific knowledge. Although motivated by good intentions, such procedures often involve actions of a morally questionable nature. It is necessary that our practices remain ethical and that we uphold the value of a human life, as this is the cornerstone of human society.
Embryonic stem cell research is one such operation that forces scientists, policy makers, and the larger society to define what constitutes a human life and to find an answer to the crucial question: Is it morally acceptable to violate the rights of a human life for the for the sake of medical progress?
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The Attempt to Limit a Limitless Potential. Kaufman, who is an associate director at the University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute and an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, supports embryonic stem cell research, arguing that the embryos used in the study of embryonic stem cells come from fertilized zygotes that would be otherwise destroyed: Experts Debate Pros and Cons.
The Importance of Stem Cell Research - Stem cell research is a topic almost everybody in the world has a viewpoint on. Many view the issue of stem cell research and stem cell therapy as morally wrong and a crime against humanity, others view the study of stem cells as the next step in modern science.
Stem cell research and its funding have caused enormous controversy over the past decade. Stem cells are pluripotent cells present in all living organisms. These cells can differentiate into any type of cell, including blood cells, nerves, cardiac muscle, and pancreatic islet cells.
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Free sample research paper on Stem Cell Research, example essay on embryonic stem cells. Online research proposal on Stem Cells. Menu. Pricing; Stem Cell Research Paper Sample. Summary Page A stem cell is specified type of cell possessing unique capability to renew itself and produce specialized types of cells. Although most body . Considering all these facts it is reasonable to conclude that embryonic stem cells are superior to all other sources of stem artspot.cfNIC STEM CELL RESEARCH IS ETHICAL of embryonic stem cells will be the best move because mankind can benefit from the research 8 and at the same time it will be possible to eliminate all ethical 5/5(1).