Embryonic Stem Cell Research Essay

1060 words - 5 pages

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Embryonic stem cell research has been a topic that has been debated for some time but the benefits of stem cells deserves a second look. Many may be unsure about how research is performed with the stem cells and how we acquire the embryonic stem cells. I believe that after providing some educational information on this, there may be a change in opinion on this
First, we need to understand what a stem cell is. A stem cell is a cell that divides via mitosis and then changes into a specialized cell. They can be found in bone marrow, adipose tissue, blood and the umbilical cord. These cells can self-renew to produce more stem cells. From the stem cell, ...view middle of the document...

When the research is being done on the embryo, the stem cells are extracted. This destroys the embryo and can be seen as the destruction of human life. While this is a topic that no one wants to discuss due to the strong feelings associated with this, I see this as a process similar to organ donation. A person must sign a consent form to donate their organs at the time of death. If you do not sign the consent, you cannot share your organs for research or to save another life. This is similar to the process of donating embryos for stem cells. The persons that own the eggs and sperm that created the embryo must sign a consent form to donate their embryo. We are not taking away a parents dream of having that child. We are not removing the cells directly from a mother’s womb. Essentially, the parents want to have the excess embryos donated to science.
I also view this as a voluntary donation to find cures for diseases that plague our society. Most scientist and researchers that have worked with embryonic stem cells believe that stem cells are the key to cure spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and many more. Personally, I watched a family member that I admired growing up fight the effects of Parkinson’s disease for over a decade. My family watched as this strong person became weaker and weaker. He continued to have difficulty swallowing and this caused a major problem in his life. We are all familiar with the story of Michael J. Fox. He has always been a strong advocate of stem cell research since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s at a young age.
There has long been an argument about funding this research. Prior to our current administration, tax payer funds were limited to stem cell lines that were already in existence. President Obama removed this limitation thus allowing embryos to be donated. However, the donating parents must be made aware of all options available to them....

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