Embryonic stem cell research is important for further development in the medical field. It strongly supports the idea that every life has value, an idea known as human dignity. Human beings are created in the image and likeness of God, and thus, are all equal. The idea of radical equality before God leads us to think no less of someone regardless of their physical appearance, religious beliefs, cultural background, or anything else. It is through virtues such as charity, mercy, and justice that our human dignity is preserved. By living through these virtues and realizing how to effectively instill them within us, we are able to live a virtuous life. This paper argues that although issues involving embryonic stem cell research are controversial, research in this area is typically permissible for further development in the medical field when looking to preserve human dignity. In order to defend this thesis, this paper will be structured into three sections as followed: the description of embryonic stem cell research, the development of a moral lens, and the moral argument and analysis of this case.
Stem cells are cells that have the potential to develop into different types of cells in the body. Stem cells also act as a repair system for many tissues in the body by dividing repeatedly to replenish other cells within a person (National Institutes of Health). Stem cell research seeks to further the advancement of the use of stem cells as well as to find an ethical way to study them. In November 1998, researchers found a way to isolate and culture human embryonic stem cells, (Bevington 2005). The ethics of stem cell research has been debated over the years and some people fully support the use of stem cells, whereas others are completely against the use of stem cells. This has been an ongoing battle for scientists over the span of two decades prior to the 1998 finding.
Given the choice, would you trade one person for multiple persons, would you give one life to save many? Now imagine that the person is already dead, would you have any objection to using them to cure diseases and save lives. It is highly debated as to whether or not stem cell researchers should be able to use stem cells from aborted babies in the research. A stem cell is defined as an undifferentiated cell of a multicellular organism that is capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cell arise by differentiation (Stem cell). In the research stem cells from aborted fetuses or left over fetuses fertilized in in-vitro fertilization are used for medical and research purposes (Stem cell research). Stem cell research could be used to cure many diseases.
Embryonic stem cell research is a controversial topic nationwide, because of its clash of ethical and moral values. Many people, including those suffering from diseases that this research is seeking to cure, do not believe in killing a living embryo in order to advance research and science.
Through change and uttermost struggle, the people who care about a subject always seem to push through for what they believe in. For the sake of Embryonic Stem Cell research, the advocates tried their best to show the advancements stem cells may withhold, and for the people who disagree with the research, always seemed to put a new light on the subject, simply humanizing the research. Although the destruction of a human embryo is not something many people would view as ethical, it is something that could hold much promise for those who suffer from terminal illnesses (Sherley). When the miracle of assisting those who could not reproduce children through In Vitro Fertilization transpired the world of stem cell research was acquired (Tauer 924).
The introduction and expansion of embryonic stem cell research initiated a highly debated ethical topic. Can our society agree to disagree? What are embryonic stem cells? What are stem cells? Is all stem cell research considered abortion? Debates surrounding embryonic stem cell research is further complicated by social standards and needs, religious beliefs, and personal morals.
The importance of ethical issues is often understated in public knowledge. Embryonic stem cell research should be of the utmost importance in the American society due to increased federal funding and the promises research in this field hold. As with many other controversies, embryonic stem cell research can be described as a dispute between religion and science due to the destruction of a viable human embryo. Depending on the status an individual grants an embryo will likely determine their stance on the issue. Next, many changes in legality and public acceptance have prompted leaders to increase funding and expand research nationally. Since taxpayers’ dollars are at work, the public should be aware of this prevalent and advancing ethical issue and be informed of its specifics. The public should also be aware of the advancements in healthcare that this research promise. Due to the changes in funding and legality, many discoveries have been made, pushing this science further. Many scientists believe embryonic stem cell research holds the key to curing many bodily injuries and deadly diseases such as spinal cord and brain injuries, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Also, many scientists conceive that, in the future, it will be possible to “grow” human organs from an individual’s stem cells for transplantation. The latter are only a few of the plethora of anticipated and promised treatments research in this field holds. Lastly,
“How can the use of stem cells be so controversial?”, one may ask. If the stem cells are donated out of free will or were going to be destroyed anyway, how can putting them to better use be controversial? Sure, a potential life must be destroyed to save a life, but only before one can tell that it is a human. Should the use of stem cells for medical research and use be regulated? These questions and more will be discussed and pondered throughout this paper.
Stem cell research is currently being conducted in numerous countries around the world. There are two main types of stem cells currently in use for research, adult and embryonic. This report will discuss the theological aspects of embryonic stem cell research in the United States. As the name implies an embryonic stem cell is harvested from a human embryo. Embryonic stem cells are obtained in two separate ways. One way is to use discarded embryos from in vitro fertilization, where fertilized eggs are donated for research. The second way is when embryos are created specifically for stem cell research. As a Christian it is my view that obtaining stem cells for research from discarded embryos should be encouraged and continue, whereas
In the contemporary world of today, the issue of embryonic stem cell research is one of this controversial significant topic regarding which there is neither fair/moral agreement nor understandable, wide-ranging laws. As far as the ethical debate is concerned, it focuses on the verifiable piece of information that stem cell research consists of destroying the very early embryos of the human beings. The federal government has restricted the financial support for stem cell research to research that makes use of the stem cells obtained from a small amount of stem cell "lines" (Shapiro, 2006).
Abstract: Religion has played a key part in the battle for embryonic rights. Pope John Paul II has spoken out against stem cell research; however, Buddhist leaders and the Episcopal Church have taken a stand for stem cell research. Different religions have different opinions about stem cell research. However the controversy can never really be solved because it is so hard to define the line of morality when talking about stem cells and embryos.
The ethics of research involving fetuses or material derived from fetuses have been widely debated for over three decades, portrayed by its proponents as holding the key to scientific and medical breakthrough and by its opponents as devaluing the most basic form of human life. The latest chapter in this long saga involves the use of embryonic stem cells. Research in this field took a great leap forward in 1998, when the first successes in growing human stem cells in culture were reported independently by Drs. James Thomson and John Gearhart. According to the National Institutes of Health, embryonic stem cell research "promises...possible cures for many debilitating diseases and injuries, including Parkinson 's disease, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, burns, and spinal cord injuries. The NIH believes the potential medical benefits of human pluripotent stem cell technology are compelling and worthy of pursuit in accordance with appropriate ethical standards (National Institutes of Health 2000). Research in this new and developing field has sparked controversy centered on the moral implications of destroying human embryos and poses several compelling ethical questions. Among them: Does life begin at fertilization, in the womb, or at birth? Might the destruction of a single human embryo be justified if it can alleviate the pain and suffering of many patients?
“Now science has presented us with a hope called stem cell research, which may provide our scientists with many answers that have for so long been beyond our grasp.” (Nancy Reagan). Most cells within our bodies perform one specialized task. Contrary to these single job cells are stem cells. These cells are unspecialized and can morph and perform any task that is needed within the body. However, the way that stem cells are harvested has caused a lot of controversy. The way that the stem cells are taken destroys the embryo. We should support the recent decision to allow embryonic stem-cell research in the United States and federally fund the work to use these stem cells to cure diseases. Better stem cell research would provide safer procedures and medical practices for everyone.
Embryonic stem cells research has challenged the moral ethics within human beings simply because the point at which one is considered a “human,” is still under debate and practically incapable to make a decision upon.
The transfer of information, often shared through scientific reports and research, puts this topic in a highly international spotlight. Many supporters believe that stem cells will be able to help solve once untreatable diseases or injuries such as spinal cord injuries, skin burns, Parkinson’s disease, and some blood disorders. However, the main argument is if stem cells should be used in finding therapeutic treatments. The use of embryonic stem cells is viewed by many as a moral inconsistency; it is opposed by religious organizations and individuals believing that this research should be abandoned and existing, alternative methods be adapted.