Stem Cell Research - Essay Example

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The issue of ethics has not only crept in our daily lives but has also entered technical aspects of life such as health and medicine. The controversies revolving stem cell research date back to the discovery of stem cells in the late twentieth century. …
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Download file to see previous pages In order to describe the problems related to stem cell it is important to know the general features of the stem cells. Stem cells are the basic unit of life for human beings through which other cells develop in them. These cells help to form organs and tissues in the human body and can thus be called the stem of human beings. These cells are now being researched upon so that they can be used in order to cure major health related diseases (Solo & Pressberg 2007). These stem cells are characteristically divided into adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are retrieved from the embryo of a human being whereas the adult stem cells can be found in the organs or skin of an adult. The issue arises in the process of retrieval of stem cells from the human embryo. It is here that the opponents of stem cell research put forward that the life of an innocent is being taken through this embryo whereas the proponents put forward that the life of the child has yet not begun in an embryo (Newton 2007; Stem Cell 2011). In my view stem cell research should be recognized and encouraged because it can lead to many breakthroughs in the world of science. According to scientists stem cell research can prove to bring about new medical therapies in the treatment of certain diseases which were previously considered to be incurable. Previously it was thought that the genetic and nervous disorders were incurable but nowadays with the help of stem cell research some of these disorders can be cured. These stem cells can replace the neurons in the body and can even repair the nervous system if they can be put to use. The stem cells can be integrated into the system of one’s body after which they have the capability to regenerate. This regeneration of stem cells can cause the neurons to form (Newton 2007; Solo & Pressberg 2007). However it is here that the question of morality arises regarding the stem cell research. In order to retrieve the stem cells it is necessary that the outer covering of the stem cells known as trophoblast is removed. In this process the embryo dies and this creates a controversy in the ethical world. According to the opponents of stem cell research the killing of embryo is just like the killing of an innocent individual. Thus the innocent individual is being denied the right to live which every constitution allows him to (George & Gomez-Lobo 2002, 258). A five day embryo according to the opponents has a right to live and is innocent. The opponents of stem cell research also put forward that embryos which are being used in the research are at times donated and they can be used by infertile couples rather than being used for research purposes. If these infertile couples use these embryos they can bring a life to the world whereas if these embryos are used for research purposes they would definitely be killed. On the other hand the proponents of stem cell research have opposing views regarding the topic. According to them the stem cell research is done on a five day embryo which does not have any moral right because the embryo cannot even breathe. They put forward the fact that an embryo starts with the process of coordination when it is 16 days old whereas a five day old embryo does not even enter the process of coordination (Smith & Brogaard 2003). They also put forward that a five day embryo does not have the mental capability to think or manage which means that they are not yet recognized as individuals of the society. Regarding the infertile couples the proponent state that the embryos donated are not being used by these couples and are rather being killed in one way or the other. Abortion is a way through which these embryos are being killed in some cases. Hence it can be said that killing an embryo for a cause is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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