The Benefits of Government-Supported Embryonic Stem Cell Research

2191 Words 9 Pages
Millions of people die every year from diseases, accidents, and defects, one only needs to turn on the nightly news to hear of the devastating effects of cancer or of horrific accidents that have left people disfigured or paralyzed. Stem cell research is a part of biomedical science that has the potential to cure diseases and defects, create organs for patients needing transplants, regenerate axons in spinal cord injuries, and create new treatments, drugs, and immunizations. However, federal funding is limited and does not cover embryonic stem cell research to an extent that would make a difference in medicine. The United States should support embryonic stem cell research by increasing federal funding, opening new stem cell lines for …show more content…
1-2).
Embryonic stem cells (hESC) are pluripotent. They are obtained from the inner mass of a 5-6 day old human blastocyst that consists of approximately 100 cells (Bongso & Lee, 2005, p. 3).
The way that hESCs are obtained has given rise to political and religious controversy, which has hindered the progression of all stem cell research and has left potential social benefits for our society undiscovered. Federal funding of hESC research might allow for more stem cell lines to be allocated and could provide enough money to fill the gap of state and private funding. Social benefits, such as easing the suffering of those afflicted with defects, organ failures, and accident victims, combined with a reduction of hospital costs associated with these afflictions, would increase the standard of living and place more money back into the pockets of Americans. However, until compromises can be made between supporters and opponents of this research, no headway will be made.
Many opponents argue that life begins at the moment of fertilization. They believe that embryos have the potential to become humans, and to use them in research is killing an unborn child. On the other hand, there are numerous people who are unsure as to what state of development constitutes life. They believe that since these embryos would be destroyed eventually and because they have the potential to save millions of lives, embryonic