When James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin and John Gearhardt at John Hopkins University were able to culture human embryonic stem cells in a lab in 1998, they opened up an entire world of controversy now known as the stem cell debate. The importance of embryonic stem cells to modern science and medicine rests largely on the fact that they are pluripotent. This means that they have the ability to form into any cell necessary within the body; they can be encouraged to become skin cells, brain cells, etc. Organs could be grown in a lab and transplanted into patients, and these cells could be used to test new drugs, rather than a live human subject. This technology, according to scientists, could foster the ability to cure any
…show more content…
The second, S.3504, prohibited the creation of human embryos specifically for research purposes. The president vetoed H.R. 810 and passed S.3504. In his stem cell veto and executive order announcement, he states, “destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical – and it is not the only option before us” (par. 11). With the backing of President Bush, embryonic stem cell research was halted, while federal funding was allotted to adult stem cell research and the search for more ethical methods of advancement.
With these options, opponents of embryonic research suggest that there are ways to employ stem cells without harming a living being or creating life only to destroy it. They see the positives of this research and hope only to be patient with its study in order to come to solutions or scientific discovery by ethical means.
It wasn’t, however, until the election of now President Barack Obama that the political support of embryonic stem cell research reversed to favor proponents. In 2009, President Obama released a stem cell executive order, which stated, “promoting science… is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda – and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology” (par. 10). This is to suggest that while Obama is of the