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Stem Cell Research Essay

1332 words - 6 pages

Stem Cell Research

     In modern medicine today there are remedies for many diseases and sicknesses. For those unfortunate few with rare diseases, cancer, or a genetic mutation, we don’t have a resolution or cure. The race to find these cures is going on right now. Many think the solution can be found in the tiny embryonic stem cells. Most of the people who believe that the embryonic stem cell is the solution also believe that the federal government should help fund the research. The use of embryonic stem cells is not the only “solution to be” for these rare cases. Adult stem cell research is another means of finding the solution to the rare diseases, cancers, and other such ...view middle of the document...

But embryonic stem cells also run the risk of tissue rejection and tumors. This is one of the reasons a human trial has yet to be done (Tada). Embryonic research is not complete but isn’t near ready for a human trial. Embryonic research is showing no signs that the cures are around the corner either (Center for Bioethics and Culture). Many people who support embryonic research don’t see this though. Some of the supporters were Christopher Reeves and Ronald Reagan’s wife and son, Ronnie. They felt that embryonic research was the key to finding the cure for Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, and Multiple Sclerosis. Unfortunately for Christopher Reeves and Ronald Reagan, a cure was not found in time. Their families argue that political issues withheld the cures for their diseases. When you look at their cases though, they were too far along in their sickness to be able to take advantage of the treatments that we have found and used. Adult stem cell research has had success in finding a cure for Parkinson’s and MS. The best story is of a MS patient, in advanced stages, who with the use of his own adult stem cells is now almost in total remission (Biotechnology and Bioethics).

     Aside from just not having proven to be an effective means of curing sicknesses, embryonic stem cells are obtained from in vitro fertilized embryos as well as aborted embryos. The problem with in vitro fertilized embryos is the researchers have a tendencies to make too many of them, in mass amounts. Their resolution to this is to freeze the embryos, to slow the death process. So, essentially, these researchers create the living embryo, study it, freeze it, pull some cells from it, then let it die (Center for Bioethics and Culture).

     Stem cell research comes down to a moral issue. It comes down to whether you believe the killing of an unborn baby is wrong and if you believe the cloning of human beings is wrong. Joni Tada, a quadriplegic who would benefit greatly from a breakthrough in spinal cord injury research - a potential cure of stem cell research - said, during an interview with Larry King, “If we violate a human embryo today, tomorrow we will become callous about the fetus, then the infant, and then people with physical defects. We want to influence society with reasoned judgment, strength of character, and a commitment to improve our culture, not diminish it.”

     Another issue surrounding stem cell research is whether or not the government should fund the research of these cells. Many would love to blame President Bush’s “stem cell ban” for the lack of cures for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, even though they are at our fingertips (Kass). If these people were to do their research though, they would see that Bush passed the first federally funded project using stem cells back in 2002 (Manier). Not only would they see this but they would also find out that from 2001 to 2003 the...

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