Embryonic Stem Cell Research

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Embryonic Stem Cell Research


Embryonic stem cell research revolves around significant controversy. According to this controversy, such a technology may lead to a slippery fall toward reproductive cloning. This may fundamentally undervalue life of human beings. There are arguments against the embryonic stem cell research due to the fact that the embryo is human life, which needs protection. On the other hand, those who argue in favor of embryonic stem cell research present arguments that there is a need for such a research. There is a need due to the medical potential of the resulting treatment. Furthermore, proponents also argue that donors can donate excess embryos for research. This part of the argument also forms the thesis statement that there are significant benefits of embryonic stem cell research.

These discussions and arguments resulted in the formation of regulations and frameworks around the world. In addition, this controversy resulted in highlighting that embryonic stem cell research leads to social and ethical issues.

One Side

Stem cells can be extracted from a dividing zygote or from an adult tissue. These cells are then placed in a controlled culture, which though allows them to divide and replicate, but prevents them from specializing or differentiating (Sateesh 630). The replicating stems cells are then inspected and the collection of dividing, undifferentiated, and healthy stem cells is termed as Stem Cell Line. These stem cell lines are managed and shared with other researchers. These stem cells can then be stimulated to differentiate (Directed Differetiation) as directed by the researcher. Ethics and stem cell research have been severely criticized on several occasions. The idea of embryos and child development undertaken in the light of scientific methodology and medicinal tools and techniques have been greatly disliked and despised by many. On the other hand, challenging the realms of the work of God and ethics involved in dismantling natural process and replacing them with artificial operations and procedures is not researcher's cup of tea. Targeted genetic manipulation addresses a problem that has been plaguing human stem cell research: the ability to cleanly and site-specifically modify the genomes of human ES and iPS cells.

The author Holm, in the article “Ethics, Law and Moral Philosophy of Reproductive Biomedicine” presents arguments against embryonic stem cell research.

Reason A

“The extraction of human stem cells currently requires the death of a pre-embryo” (Holm 163).

Ethical Considerations

The so-called “disease in a dish” approach and the search for potentially disease-modifying drugs require the use of cells and controls that are genetically identical, except for a specific alteration whose impact can then be observed. In the standard method of harvesting stem cells, researchers wait five days or so after fertilization until the embryo has become a ball of up to 150 undifferentiated cells. They obtain stem cells from the interior of the ball, which destroys the embryo.

Reason B

“Similar to other technologies which are new, the long-term effects of such a technology are entirely unknown” (Holm 163).

Present Study is Not Adequate for Treatments

The process of using embryonic stem cells for research results in the abolition ...
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