Essay on The Embryonic Stem Cell Conflict

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Many of the criticisms directed towards the advent of stem cell research have centered on the source of the most scientifically useful types of stem cells—pre-implantation human embryos. Unfortunately, harvesting embryonic stem cells typically results in the destruction of the embryo from which they are harvested, which gives rise to a moral dilemma: is it ethically acceptable to destroy an embryo’s potential to life? Those who are against human embryonic stem cell research will answer you with an emphatic “no”; they usually argue much like pro-lifers—“…human embryos have an equal standing to all living persons… and destroying them is akin to murder” (Hyuu 71). However, to halt stem cell research solely because an embryo has the potential to become full-fledged life is to forgo the possibility of saving a plethora of actual living human beings. I will argue that the opposition of embryonic stem cell research is counterintuitive and detrimental to society as a whole because it is vital to further human advancement in the fields of science and medicine, and that neglecting to reap the benefits of stem cell research can actually cost more lives than it saves. I will also be examining the role politics have played in attempting to resolve this issue.
Stem cells can prove to be a useful tool in the area of disease research, health drug development, as well as regenerative medicine. In fact, realizing the immense potential of the properties held by stem cells, scientists working in the field of regenerative medicine have begun to use some“…basic stem cell knowledge to develop specific cell[s] or tissue to replace the original cells or tissue, which has been degenerated, injured or damaged by different processes” (Alenzi 19929). The s...

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...s in the field of stem cell research, and by extension the fields of science and medicine.

Works Cited

Alenzi, Faris, and Ali Bahkali. “Stem Cells: Biology and Clinical Potential.” African Journal of Biotechnology 10.86 (2011): 19929-19940. PDF file.
Heath, Erin. “Will Stem Cell Policy Evolve?” BioScience 55.12 (2005): 1040. PDF file.
Hyun, Insoo. “The Bioethics of Stem Cell Research and Therapy.” The Journal of Clinical Investigation 120.1 (2010): 71-75. PDF file.
Jadin, Jenna. “Stem Cells: Growth and Policy.” BioScience 59.9 (2009): 744. PDF file.
Kollmann, Maite. “Taking the Moral High Road: Why Embryonic Stem Cell Research Should be Strictly Regulated.” Faulkner Law Review 2.145: 145-192. PDF file.
Robertson, John. “Embryo Stem Cell Research: Ten Years of Controversy.” Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics (Summer 2012): 195-203. PDF file.

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