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Modern Conservatism and Stem Cell Research - Essay Example

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This essay "Modern Conservatism and Stem Cell Research" will examine how Conservative thought ought to resolve the ethical dilemmas involved in stem cell research; more specifically, this essay will examine the religious dimensions of the debate and whether Conservative thought can be reconciled with stem cell research.  …
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Modern Conservatism and Stem Cell Research
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Download file to see previous pages The compromise failed to satisfy all of the interested Conservative groups and seems more of a stop-gap policy within Conservatism than a long-term resolution. The debate has hardly subsided.
As a preliminary matter, it must be noted that stem cells are not new. It is the manipulation of stem cells that has raised a myriad of ethical issues. Most simply, as defined by the National Institutes of Health, the biomedical organization vested with executing American health policy regarding stem cell research, stem cells are, “Cells with the ability to divide for indefinite periods in culture and to give rise to specialized cells” (“Stem Cell Basics”). However, and of critical importance, there are two types of stem cells. These are embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Many Conservatives are fiercely opposed to research involving embryonic stem cells; this is because they view these cells as a form of life entitled to sanctity and protection. Indeed, as stated by Dr. Samuel D. Hensley, a fellow at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity as well as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, “The critical ethical issue here is whether cloned human embryos are unique human beings--with inherent human dignity and therefore worthy of protection--or whether they are, as some have asserted, merely microscopic globs of cellular material. We must ask ourselves if embryos are human beings deserving of protection. Are they human persons?” (2003, np). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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