Essay Problems with Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

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Recently in the scientific world, the field of embryonic stem cell research has become a popular topic and has been the subject for many heated debates. Experts in the field of stem cell research promise that this will be the future of medicine; that stem cells will be the cure to all the debilitating diseases and afflictions of today, such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, cancer and nerve damage. The truth about embryonic stem cell research is that it is not as hopeful and as revolutionary as it seems. Many problems that will negate the use of stem cells will and have already begun to arise, especially in areas concerning health risks to the patient, opportunity costs and human rights (Condic 803). Taking into account all the …show more content…
With the hopes of curing the patient’s afflictions, these newly grown cells would then be transplanted into the patient. With this approach come major problems such as the formation of tumours, which is caused by the distinguishing trait of stem cells. Because stem cells are able to divide for an unlimited amount of time, it has been found that the cells will not know when to stop dividing and they will continue to divide even after being transplanted into the patient (Herold 48). This form of treatment is counterproductive, as uncontrollable cell division will produce tumours and potentially cause cancer, which is one of the ailments that stem cell research promises to cure. Another health problem that treatment with embryonic stem cells can cause is tissue rejection. As is the case with current organ transplantation procedures, embryonic stem cells are harvested from many people all who possess a unique set of genes; therefore, the stem cells are not genetically matched for each patient (Herold 48-49). The difference in genetics causes the body to reject the tissue and the immune system begins to attack the transplanted tissue like it would a virus or bacteria in an attempt to remove the perceived threat. To avoid the implanted tissues being rejected by the body, doctors must prescribe immune suppression drugs that must be taken for the remainder of the patient’s life, even with these drugs the tissue may still be rejected and
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