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Embryonic Stem Cells - Research Paper Example

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Embryonic Stem Cell Research Name: Course: Instructor: June 16, 2012 Abstract Stem cell research is an issue that came to light in late 1998 following the isolation of the first human embryonic stem cells (Advancing Science, serving Society, 2011, Para. 1)…
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Download file to see previous pages The research has had significant influences from various sectors of society. These range from financial considerations, whereby governments and private sectors provide funding for the progress of the projects, to legislation by government banning or allowing the research, to religious views and beliefs of the people. As a result, stem cell research has had to go through baptism by fire, and it is still prohibited in some countries while others do not have a clear policy if any on the topic. The research has faced ethical issues because it utilizes human embryos for extraction of stem cells. This paper seeks to discuss the effects of the various factors on the research such as the influences of political interests; media being one of them, religious beliefs and financial challenges on embryonic stem cell research. Discussion Financial Challenges Financial challenges play a great role in research involving stem cells. This is in the form of purchases of equipment meant for use in the research (Connor, 2009, Para. 9). Just like any other field, in medicine, the issue of commercialization has caused debate on a wide scale. Financial challenges in this case are brought out in the form of ethical issues. For example, introducing commerce in stem cell research makes stem cell tissues and embryos into tradable goods and commodities. Also, researchers could have commercial interests in the research which could afflict interests. All these are manifestations of financial challenges in the field of this research. In addition, sale of human tissues elicits debate on the legality and acceptability of the issue in society. The other financial challenge that affects stem cell research is that of the efficiency involved in harvesting stem cells (Hollowell, 2005, Para. 18). This is because harvesting stem cells requires the extraction of women’s eggs. This translates to approximately 1.7 billion human eggs to treat 17 million diabetes patients requires. The cost to extract these eggs would be really expensive putting into consideration that to extract one egg from a single patient one requires nearly $100,000 (Hollowell et al, 2005, Para. 18). These costs are really high and require an organization to shoulder the financial burden while funds may not be forthcoming. As a result, the research either slows down or ends up being disbanded due to lack of funds. There is also the issue of the government funding for stem research in some countries. There is a strong opposition to the use of taxpayers’ money to cater for the research (Hollowell, 2005 Para. 52). This is because both private and government players have analyzed scientific data emanating from the research. As a result, they have concluded that the research is a waste as many have failed. In addition, some private companies that have the finances to give out are reluctant to fund stem cell projects. This is not as a result of the failures or of the potential failures that scientists face but as a result of receiving inadequate applications for the funds (Hollowell et al, 2005, Para. 64). The applications fail to qualify because they are unable to withstand the peer review process meant to vet them. Moreover, funds are becoming a rare commodity for embryonic stem cell researchers. This is because for corporations and the private sector to fund the stem cell research there is a need to conduct trials on animals first (Hollowell, 2005, Para. 26). Early trials have had side effects on the animals such as development of malignant ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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