Stem Cell Research Ethics

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The question of where life begins in its first incipient stage has fueled the debate over the validity and legitimacy of methods of stem cell research. The success of scientists in isolating and culturing human embryonic stem cells has forced us to question what means are ethical and how far we can go in order to prevent or alleviate human suffering. Scientists have been using stem cells for decades as a means of getting insights into human development and producing treatments and cures. These cells include embryonic, adult, and induced pluripotent stem cells. While stem cell research is critical for investigating the development of cells in humans and creating treatments and cures for major diseases and disorders, it is also important that …show more content…
Science borders a fine line between knowledge and creation, often on the verge of an ethical predicament. Embryonic stem cell research violates the moral ethical standard which scientists must meticulously follow. Those who are against the research are aware of the significance of morals within the scientific community. The sacrifice of one’s potential life for the theoretical medical alleviation of one’s condition entails turning a blind eye from the embryo. An embryo is an unborn child, capable of developing into a unique individual, “Either the embryo is viewed as a person whilst it is still an embryo, or it is seen as a potential person. The criteria for ‘personhood’ are notoriously unclear; different people define what makes a person in different ways” (eurostemcell.org). This metaphysical debate transcends the realm of science and delves into the parameters of the human condition. Since what constitutes life or humanity is so intangible, the justification for this moral argument is often tenuous. However, scientists have a duty to not only aspire to relieve suffering, but also to protect human life. Options that defend and acknowledge all of human life are the only ones that scientists should follow concerning stem cell …show more content…
These cells are obtained without harm to the donor, in contrast with the death that ensues with embryonic stem cells. In spite of the lower potential of adult stem cells, fifty-six treatments and cures for diseases/disorders have already been developed from them, whereas embryonic stem cell research has produced none. However, a new stem cell method that reprograms ordinary cells into an embryonic stem cell-like state has been discovered. These newly-programmed cells are known as induced pluripotent stem cells, “In 2007, a new stem cell method was discovered that actually "reprograms" ordinary cells (like skin cells) to revert into an embryonic stem cell-like state” (abort73.com). As a result, a simple skin cell can now have the same promising clinical potential as an embryonic stem cell, without the process of killing an embryo. Furthermore, induced pluripotent stem cells have overcome the problem of immune rejection since the cell contains the same genetic code as the patient. Since 2009, the alternatives to embryonic stem cell research have become the preferred option. As shown in the bar graph, federal grants for non-embryonic stem cell research have overcome grants for embryonic stem cell research. Since 2012 federal and scientific institutions have begun to provide more resources for non-embryonic stem cell research to decrease the use of embryonic stem cells since. This

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