﻿ Science is moving at such a rapid speed these days, between cloning, genetherapy, miracle drugs, exotic therapies, etc. One of the most significant breakthroughscame in November 1998, when two separate researchers successfully isolated stemcells from human embryos and aborted fetuses. Stem cells are primordial cells of ahuman organism, which are capable of becoming all or most of the 210 different kindsof tissues in the human body. Stem cells have been defined as not fully differentiatedyet to be any particular type of tissue or cell.
They range from “totipotent, i. e. ( theearly stages of the human embryo up to about 4 days after conception. ) To pluripotent I. e. (a bit older and therefore only capable of being some cells or tissues in thebody.
) As in the 5-7 day blastocyst stage of the early embryo, with decreasingcapacity in later stages of fetal development and in human beings. The impassioned hopes are that these stem cells can be used to greatadvantages. The cautious fears are that innocent and vulnerable human beings aredestroyed, and needlessly so, in the process. The debates are raging. Many people are confused about what stem cell researchreally is, and wonder why all the fuss.
There are several well documented and well-articulated sources of information available on this issue already, so the following is abrief overview of some of the major scientific, ethical, pros and cons. For centuries humanity has been plagued with numerous diseases, such as theblack plague, Cancer, AIDS, and other diseases. These horrific, dreaded diseaseshave killed millions of people due to doctors or scientists not having a cure, but thanksto a scientific and medical breakthrough these diseases can and will be a thing of thepast. With this new research scientists are hoping to gain important scientificknowledge about embryonic development and its application to related fields; curingdebilitating diseases, e. g.
, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, stroke, spinal cordinjuries, bone diseases, etc. ; and screening drugs for pharmaceutical companies,instead of having to rely on animal models. In order to continue with these medical and scientific breakthroughs ” you have toaccept the right-to-life argument in its most extreme form. I’m talking about newlyformed embryos. These are not fetuses with tiny little waving hands and feet. Theseare microscopic groupings of a few differentiated cells.
There is nothing human about them, except potential, and only if you choose to believe it, a soul. However, Bush isblocking, stem cell research would not actually take the life of a single embryo. Researchers would only use embryos that are being discarded anyway”. 1I understand that some people and “pro lifers” say that stem cell research is”murder. ” But I strongly fell that it is ethically acceptable – even morally required – todestroy a few human beings in order to possibly benefit millions of patients. Besides,these cells do not cause the same immuno-incompatibility problems aftertransplantation as do adult stem cells from different patients.
Further, these early cellsfrom human embryos and fetuses are MORE “totipotent” and “pluripotent” than adultstem cells, and therefore they can be “coaxed” to become more different kinds oftissues, and can last longer in culture awaiting use. Besides, these fetuses and left-over IVF-produced human embryos are going to die anyway, so we might as well getsome good use out of them”. 1 “Researchers believe that stem cells can mimic theactions and activitiesof nearly every other cell in the body. Eventually, scientists hope to usethem to repair damaged hearts after heart attacks, regenerate liversdevastated by cirrhosis or viral disease, reconstruct damaged joints, orseed the brain with fresh neurons to reverse the effects of Parkinson’sand Lou Gehrig’s disease, according to the November issue of TechnologyReview, a research magazine published by the Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology, or MIT. ” 2 Now for every good there is a bad, and with all this technology there has to be anegative side, after all everything with medication and medical research has it’s sideeffects, and thousands of people in the world feel that stem cell research is morallyand ethically wrong regardless of what stem cell research promises, as well as all theside effects that come along with stem cell research.
Here are just some of the sideeffects or things that are wrong or “unethical.” First, one minor complication is that use of human embryonic stem cells requireslifelong use of .