The Issues Surrounding Stem Cell Research

1262 WordsMar 8, 20166 Pages
“At its core, this issue forces us to confront fundamental questions about the beginnings of life and the ends of science. It [stem cell research] lies at a difficult moral intersection, juxtaposing the need to protect life in all its phases with the prospect of saving and improving life in all its stages.” George W. Bush in his address at the Bush Ranch in Texas precisely captures the essence of the issues surrounding stem cells. “Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the capability of self replication as well as being able to give rise to diverse types of differentiated or specialized cell lines.” (Stien). Researching these cells can lead cures some of the most devastating ailments. Despite the research’s vast…show more content…
“Stem cell researchers believe that much greater results could be achieved by using embryonic stem cells because these cells can differentiate into a far greater number of cell types” (potential uses for stem cells). Stem cells are affected heavily by their environment. For example, “researchers have taken adult stem cells from the brains of rats and put them in bone marrow and watched, in astonishment, as they spewed out blood cells” (Gorman). When harvesting embryonic cells the embryo is destroyed essentially ending any chance of life. On the other hand, somatic stem cells can be found within humans throughout any stage of life and obtaining these cells result in no harm to the donator. However, somatic cells do not have near the same promise as embryonic cells but, they still have many uses. Thus, these cells challenge both the boundaries of science and boundaries of our morals to obtain a healthy life. In 2001, George W. Bush outlawed federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research (Thompson). Without proper funding for the research the scientists were restricted by their funds to finding the cures they’ve dedicated their life to. Since the the government stopped funding the research the progress essentially halted however, in 2009 things changed. In a landmark decision, President Obama lifted the ban on the funding of stem cell research with the signing of an executive order on March 9th. According to President Obama in his
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