Molecular Biology

Arguments for and against Stem Cell Research



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It's 2:00 A.M. Michael, 54, has just been admitted into the emergency room. He has hemorrhaged in his brain, an incident that modern science calls a stroke. If Michael survives, he could face paralysis, loss of normal brain function, and other serious effects. But due to a medical break through, Michael has a chance to return to a normal life. Research has shown that the effects of a stroke can possibly be completely eliminated by introducing stem cells into the human brain (BBC). These stem cells would save Michael's life, but since stem cell research isn't supported by the U.S. government, Michael my be left with the results of a stroke. The research of stem cells should be endorsed by the U.S. government because it would increase many patients' chances of survival and insure an improved life.

Stem cells can be manipulated into becoming almost any cell that is in the human body (Robinson). When a specific type of cell is needed, these stem cells can be used to form the needed cells. The treatment of these cells could cure many diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. The illnesses that the treatment of stem cells could cure are diseases that typically remain uncured. Many people are forced to suffer with their sicknesses for their entire lives because there is no other option. Stem cell research can provide the option that they are searching for (Badge).

The research of stem cells occurs in America, but it isn't endorsed by the government (Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research). Stem cell research is legal but legislation has been passed to prevent federal funding. Why can this research be allowed but not funded? Many critics state that since stem cell research is such a controversial issue, such legislation had to be passed against it. But the legislation that was passed does not put an end to the controversial issue; it simply does not provide it with federal funding. Any other level of government, such as state or local, is free to fund the research if the citizens of that government choose to do so (Robinson). But why exclude the federal government? The smaller levels of government usually prove not to have adequate funds to cover the extensive research needed. Having local governments to fund the research also causes the issue to be unequal throughout the country. With some governments in America funding research and others disallowing it, not everyone in the country has an equal chance at recovery from the terrible diseases that they suffer. If the federal government funded the research, then everyone would have an equal opportunity.

Why is stem cell research so controversial? It's a life-saving study, but there are many aspects of the research that many people don't support. Stem cells mainly come from human embryos and umbilical cords. Many argue that the use of human embryos for harvesting stem cells is unethical (Ethics of Stem Cell Research). Those who oppose it suggest that a human life is killed when the stem cells are collected. Although the embryo that is used for gathering the stem cells is destroyed, the embryos that are used are the results of abortion (Schnurr). Whether the fetus will be used for research or not, it has already been aborted and will be discardedand wasted. Pro-life activists believe that if stem cell research is endorsed, then abortion will never be abolished (Schnurr). This idea is false because stem cell research could continue without the use of aborted fetuses; the stem cell simply would not be as plentiful. Stem cell research could use the blood from the umbilical cord to further the research (Fumento). This would decrease the progress of the research

Stem cell research is an advanced scientific discovery that has the possibility to revolutionize the medical community if adequately funded. The research has the potential to cure presently "incurable" diseases and give many people a chance at a better life. Scientists have been searching for a discovery that could change everything for the better. It's right in front of us, but will we seize the opportunity to benefit from it?

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