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Ethics in Healthcare: Stem Cell Research - Case Study Example

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Ethics in healthcare: Stem Cell Research Name: Instructor: Task: Date: Ethic in healthcare: Stem Cell Research Introduction The stem cell research can provide solutions concerning the development of human beings. Additionally, it can lead to the discoveries of new treatments for diseases…
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Ethics in Healthcare: Stem Cell Research
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Ethics in healthcare: Stem Cell Research Task: Ethic in healthcare: Stem Cell Research Introduction The stem cell research can provide solutions concerning the development of human beings. Additionally, it can lead to the discoveries of new treatments for diseases. However, scientists are facing ethical challenges regarding the stem cell research. Since such research raise ethical concerns, the major challenges for the scientists entail meeting the scientific and ethical standards. Pertinent Obtaining informed consent Another ethical challenge faced by the researchers is the difficulty in obtaining the informed consents from donors. In any research that involves the use of human organs or cells, consent is very vital. Since people have different opinions regarding donations of the human body parts, it has not been easy for researchers to get informed consent. For instance, when conducting a study that involves the use of human embryos there has been a major disagreement. Most people do not find it acceptable, and a few of them only support some parts of the research. Obtaining reproductive materials, such as embryos have not been easy since individuals have given the reproductive materials emotional and moral significance. Confidentiality According to Pozgar (2012), confidentiality is very vital in stem cell research since it has been an ethical challenge to the researchers. The confidentiality of the individuals donating the cells needs to be respected in order to protect them from harassment and unexpected publicity. In the process of approving new therapies, the researchers have to reveal donors’ details during auditing by the “Food and Drug Administration” (FDA). Hence, it can be difficult to protect the donor’s privacy. Additionally, people’s confidential information is usually stored in computers in the research institutions. Due to theft of computers and high occurrence of computer hacking there has been the violation of donor’s personal information (Monroe, Miller & Tobis, 2008). Such violations make individuals fear engaging in donation. This results into scarcity of research specimens. Medical risks According to Lo & Parham, (2009), another ethical issue pertains to the medical risks associated with the process of retrieving the human body parts for the research purposes. For instance, in oocyte retrieval, many donors have experienced problems like the ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and too much bleeding. To cure some of these conditions, one may require surgery, and some of the donors have spent a lot of money to undergo the surgeries. Such occurrences make individuals not to donate their body parts. In order to be fair, the individuals who undergo such invasive procedures for research reasons should be treated freely. This is with the intent of encouraging people to donate their cells. Peripheral Objections Lo & Parham (2009) further asserts that an additional ethical challenge facing this type of research entails objections from the members of the society. This is because; some individuals think that the research does not respect the human dignity. Additionally, some think that it is against religion and fundamental morals. For instance, most members of the society do not approve cloning. This is because a cloned child will not have both parents like other children. Furthermore, the baby will be a biologically twin to the donor. For this reason, people think that children will be viewed as manufacturing products and not gifts given to two parents by God. They also argue that due to cloning, there would be a form of the abuse of natural boundaries between generations. Hence, human stem cell research for reproduction reasons is thought to be as an immoral act and some countries have banned it (Lo & Parham, 2009). Determining incentives According to Shi & Clegg (2008), one of challenges faced by the stem cell researchers is determining the kind of incentives that will be given to the donors. This is because, the procedures for obtaining the cells is invasive, painful, and the individuals donating the cells do that for altruistic proposes, and not treatment purpose. There have been major debates on weather researchers should offer financial incentives to the donors. Some individuals have argued that such incentives could lead to the commoditization of the human body parts. Currently, researchers can compensate donors for taking their time and for the discomforts that they undergo during the process, yet they cannot buy the cells. However, some individuals donating want to receive pay since they claim that the resultant stem cells will serve commercial purposes. If the cells will be instrumental for research purposes, the donation should be free. Nevertheless, if the cells will instrumental in commercial firms to gain profits, the donors should receive pay. Moreover, there have been arguments regarding the ownership of the cell lines (Shi & Clegg, 2008). Conclusion The stem cell research is helpful in making therapeutic discoveries. However, ethical issues can arise if the researchers go against the rules in their region making them experience many challenges. Hence, researchers have to identify the acceptable ethical standards in their regions before conducting any research. References Lo, B. & Parham, L. (2009). Ethical Issues in Stem Cell Research. Endocrine Reviews Vol 30(3): 204-213. Retrieved from http://edrv.endojournals.org/content/30/3/204.full Monroe, K. R., Miller, R. B., & Tobis, J. S. (2008). Fundamentals of the stem cell debate: The scientific, religious, ethical, and political issues. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pozgar, G. D. (2012). Legal and ethical issues for health professionals. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Shi, Y., & Clegg, D. O. (2008). Stem cell research and therapeutics. Dordrecht: Springer. Read More
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