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The morality of embryonic stem cell research

Updated on December 29, 2014

Introduction to Embryonic Stem Cell Research

The morality of embryonic stem cells research is greatly questioned because of either the religion you believe in or what your priority of life is. Embryonic stem cell research is the scientific research of cloning stem cells obtained from embryos, and testing to whether it can cure deadly diseases and injuries. Some of the general public believes that it is horrible because it kills babies, but what they say does not come with evidence. First, it could certainly cure diseases that otherwise are incurable through conventional methods. Second, it could help injured adults recover from injuries faster and safer, and third, it could speed up human genetic research. The research of embryonic stem cells is revolutionary, and should continue, because it allows people with life threatening injuries and diseases to recover well and could mean a major breakthrough in the study of human genetics.

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Evolution to better studies

Embryonic stem cell research can eventually lead to better studies and may be eventually lead to an artificial stem cell research. The effects of this research could potentially advance the preservation of human life without needing another to make the sacrifice. Sometimes you need to make this sacrifice, and what the people against this argument would call inhumane could make the results be better. With advancing technology, a lot of things can be discovered from embryonic stem cells such as other ground-breaking medical discoveries. You need to make the sacrifice for a better tomorrow, and helping fellow humans who can feel pain. In fact, an embryo does not become conscious after several weeks of being the size of a grain of sand. “Indeed it will be several weeks before a nervous system develops that could allow the developing conceptus to feel pain or be aware.” (Wilmut) The sacrifice I am writing about is a decision, although some argue to be religiously inhumane, that is facing the fact that when they extract stem cells, the embryo could die.

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Helping physical injuries

Secondly, the results of this research could help those who have been into accidents, or have serious injuries to recover faster. One of the unique characteristics of stem cells is that it can grow into any kind of human cells that is needed. For example, one who has a broken leg could be implanted stem cells around the area of fracture to speed up bone repair. Another example is whenever a baby is born without certain body parts, scientists can use stem cells to create a prosthetic form of the missing part and operate on the baby. I know what the opposing arguers would say “why kill a baby to save a baby?” What they don’t appear to understand is that if a small amount of cells are extracted out of an embryo, the cells reproduce just like any human cells, into other stem cells. As these stem cells grow, they can be separated and used for many different uses, from one original stem cell. Of course it needs to be in an ideal environment, but what I am saying is one embryo can save potentially hundreds of babies or adults in desperate need of stem cells.

Curing diseases

Curing terminating diseases has been a tough task to do for many centuries. According to Ian Wilmut, Professor of reproductive science at the University of Edinburgh, “-Extraordinary opportunities to study and treat human diseases are now possible thanks to the recently acquired ability by a team of South Korean scientists to derive stem cells from cloned human embryos.” As explained in Wilmut’s article, many diseases that have harmful effects towards cells, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, could have treatment offered due to the cloning characteristics of stem cells. Allowing the research to continue is essential to find cures for these conditions, as well as other inherited diseases. The closer and closer scientist get to find the cures for deadly conditions, the faster the world will be a happier place.

Oregon Health and Science University
Oregon Health and Science University | Source

The embryos can live!

In May of 2013, scientists at Oregon Health and Science University discovered a way to harvest such stem cells without killing the embryo. “The team at OHSU, which disclosed its work in a paper published online by Cell, created embryonic stem cells by replacing the nucleus in an unfertilized human egg with the nucleus from a skin cell, then harvesting the resulting stem cells. This long-sought technique may eventually let doctors create replacement cells for a wide variety of tissues from bits of a patient's own skin. One advantage to this approach is that it doesn't require the destruction of human embryos.” (LA Times). As explained in the quote, scientists now know how to generate embryonic stem cells out of unfertilized human eggs. After this was proposed, concerned public officials warned that this method could harm the egg donors, even if these said donors, declared by Dr. Francis S. Collins, “donated under ethically sound informed consent processes” in a National Institutes of Health news release in December of 2009. The women choose what their eggs will be used for, and scientists also use eggs that are on the brink of expiration, meaning they use eggs that are about to become medical waste because they are not being used for anything else.

My religious viewpoint

People who argue against embryonic stem cell research do not see the brightness of the results. They argue about natural selection, and how we are testing God because we are pushing away “the time” when humans go. My question to them is the following: Who are you to judge whether or not we are testing God? What I mean is, you do not know what God is doing of this situation. Maybe He wants us to find the cure to make the sick happier and live longer. He teaches us to take care of the poor, the sick and the needy. As a Catholic, I believe that God is testing us about how we care about the positive that will be the future, caring for the sick and to help them live their life better.

Conclusion

To conclude, I want to state that embryonic stem cell research is a completely ethical process, that have been made possible without killing the embryo and should be continued. If you are not convinced, you need to read the facts over again, and reconsider. I have made many arguments that encourage the continuance of this great project, and I am looking forward to see where this is going, because I have many beliefs that it will result well.

Sources of information

  1. Sources: Healy, Melissa. "Stem Cells May Aid Organ Patients." Los Angeles Times. 08 Mar 2012: A.1. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 11 Oct 2013.
  2. "First Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Approved for Use Under New..." NIH News Release. 02 Dec 2009: n.p. SIRS Government Reporter.Web. 11 Oct 2013.
  3. Marchione, Marilynn. "Doctors Save Ohio Boy by 'Printing' an Airway Tube." Cincinnati Enquirer. 23 May 2013: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher.Web. 11 Oct 2013.
  4. Susman, Carolyn. "Stem Cell Use Remains Tough Topic." Palm Beach Daily News. 11 Dec 2012: p. A.6. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 11 Oct 2013.
  5. Wilmut, Ian. "Stem Cells from Cloned Embryos Are Key to Treating Disease." Global Viewpoint. 27 May 2005: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher.Web. 01 Nov 2013.
  6. "The Specter of Human Cloning." Los Angeles Times. 17 May 2013: p. A.16. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 01 Nov 2013.

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