Stem Cell Research Embryonic Stem-Cell Term Paper

  • Length: 8 pages
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  • Subject: Biology
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #2791973

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(Condic, 31) Scientists visualize immeasurable value in the application of embryonic stem cell research to comprehend human growth and the development and healing of ailments. More than 100 million Americans are ailing from the diseases that subsequently might be dealt more successfully or even cured with embryonic stem cell procedure. Majority of the researchers consider stem cell research as having large prospects for healing human ailments ever since the inception of antibiotics. (Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research) Stem cells have extended much expectation by assuring largely to expand horizontally in terms of number and range of patients that could have advantage from transplants, and to entail cell replacement procedure to heal the devastating ailments like diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injuries, heart disease, several innumerable ailments due to rare immune system and genetic disorders and many more. (Lovell-Badge, 88)

Even President Bush is not antagonistic to the scientific value of embryonic stem cell research in contradiction to the less contentious non-embryonic forms of stem cell research. In an East Room address, circumscribed by a group of cute kids who where adopted as frozen embryos, the President recognized that embryonic stem cells have the capability to develop into specialized adult tissues, and it may entail them the prospect to substitute damaged or defective cells or body parts and treat several diseases. The sole reason for the veto, he adduced, was that embryonic stem cell research surpasses the ethical limitations. However, is it really true? (Birnbaum, 4)

Most of the ethical refutations in respect of embryonic stem cell research could be settled by more research. The stem cell research, according to a report from the National Institutes of Health sent in June 2001 to Tommy G. Thompson, secretary of Health and Human Services, assures large prospects for new strategies to tissue and organ repair and is energizing rejuvenation in stem cell biology. (Marwick, 1192) With the progress of time it would also be possible to dissuade the destruction of a great numbers of embryos. (Winston, 397) The scientists of Harvard University in the month of August, 2005 had revealed a pioneer discovery that fuses 'blank' embryonic stem cells with that of the adult skin cells, instead of with the fertilized embryos to generate all-purpose stem cells effective in taking care of ailments and impairments. This discovery doesn't associate with the death of fertilized human embryos, and thus would successfully answer pro-life refutations to embryonic stem cell research and therapy. (Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research)

The researchers of Harvard University signaled that it could take up to ten years to rectify such highly assuring procedure. While South Korea, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, India and other nations would soon champion these new technological frontiers, the U.S. would be far away and away in this medical advancement. (Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research) However, it could also be indicated that research on embryonic stem cells will grow in a number of private scientific centers, without federal funding and one might contemplate, at a pace unregulated by the federal bureaucracy. (Schwartz, 1911) Moreover, the U.S. law has not yet condemned the stem cell research, however, only use of federal funds for that research. The prominent therapeutic applications of stem cell research rests too far in the future and are too indefinite to draw much private investment, according the high discount rates that most business assessments are performed in respect of the projects. However, there are large avenues of state and particularly private benevolent spending on medical research, and therefore, the condemnation on federal grant on this field will only lead to a redistribution of research funds. (The Economics of Stem-Cell Research -- Posner) Further the maximum impact of the U.S. ban would just be to shift all stem cell research to other nations; it would not halt the research and lead to saving the embryos. For example, the potential American researchers, strangled with the political and administrative limitations, are more enlightened and attracted towards a new center in Singapore. (Schwartz, 1911) In addition commitment to federal funds leads to sound social policy by enhancing the possibility that the outcomes of stem cell research will exhibit broad-based social priorities which are quite unlikely to be dealt with if the research was held within the private sphere alone. (Sherlock; Morrey, 586)

Now we shall look at another aspect which proves the support for stem cell research. Surveys indicate that majority of Americans support the utilization of their federal tax funds in promoting embryonic stem cell research. (Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research) The NBC New/Wall Street Journal in its July 2006 issue have revealed that 68% of Americans are in favor of extending federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, while only 27% are opposed to it. The University of Pennsylvania National Annenberg Election Survey of 2004 that divided its sample by party affiliation reveals further that a majority of Republicans of 53-38% were in support of extending support for embryonic stem-cell research. There are forceful causes as to the why more Americans are convinced over this one topic than probably that of any other on the legislative docket. (Birnbaum, 5)

While some have put the debate of stem-cell research within the sphere of 'Culture War'- secular America vs. religious America - the reality is that the majority of religious America is in favor of embryonic stem cell research. And with the more and more Americans gradually becoming aware of exactly what stem cell research provided for, it can be certain that even more would favor it. This is due to the fact that the embryonic stem-cell research is not practically 'embryonic'. (Birnbaum, 5) At the central point of all this debate is the fact as to how we consider the human life to be. The crucial point is whether it is justified to dissuade the death or severe ailment of a child or adult by applying cells attained from fertilized eggs. Do we accord equal moral status to both adults and embryos and is it increasing with advancing development? What should be our legal stand towards abortion and our preparedness to avoid ectopic pregnancies? Besides, human preimplantation embryos have only a confined prospect to become humans. Most vanish prior to the menstrual period. Contraceptives that focus on destruction of embryos are accepted widely and there is general public acceptability of the in vitro fertilization --IVF. It is pertinent to note that only about 10% of transferred IVF embryos generate a baby, and around thousands generated annually during such process of treatments are unable to be transferred and are destroyed. (Winston, 396)

It is required to be comprehended that the stem cells, those which are in focus, are obtained from a five-day-old zygote, more particularly known as 'blastocyst' that has yet to go through the process of cell differentiation. It is particularly in a different group than an embryo, much less a fetus. It is not astonishing, then that many staunchly anti-abortion politicians have favored stem cell research. The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act would not have been passed through the congress had it lacked the support of many significant pro-life congressmen and senators, and those involved included even Bill Frist, the present senate majority leader; Trent Lott- the earlier senate majority leader and Orrin Hatch. (Birnbaum, 5)

None however, illustrates the pro-life stem-cell research debate better than John Danforth, former Republican senator and ordained Episcopal minister. He stated that during his entire political career, he voted pro-life, and that is exactly why he supports stem-cell research. He support saving human life and desire inventions for cures. While orthodox Christians may be split up on the very subject, it is pertinent to note that religious Jews are not. This is due to the fact that stringent interpretation of Jewish law reveals that life starts at 40 days- even much after the stage of blastocyst -- and that anything prior to it is mere fluid. Thus while most Orthodox rabbis are antagonistic towards abortion later than this 40 day mark- except in abnormal cases of saving the life of the mother- practically all are in favor of the stem-cell research. (Birnbaum, 5)

The current scientific growth reveals that it is nearer to the possibility of obtaining stem cells from blastocyst even without destroying it. It is required to comprehend that while that would probably further unwrap opposition to stem-cell research, it would not eradicate it. However the opposition of the conservative minority, should not go on to be as an excuse for not funding the research any more than the contradiction of a liberal minority to, say the death penalty should dissuade the government from funding the execution of cold-blooded killers -- if the Americans conclude in such manner. In the meantime millions suffering from incurable diseases are counting their days. (Birnbaum, 5) The hindrance of medical advances on religious ground is in no way at the best interests of…

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