Embryonic STEM cell research is used to further our understanding of what causes disease as well as find possibles cures for such diseases. Unfortunately though, there is much controversy on whether or not discarded embryos should be used for STEM cell research.
The biggest problem is the ethical debate. Though the embryos have been discarded, there is still a belief that you are taking a human life when you use the embryos. This has lead to a big question. Should discarded embryos be used in STEM cell research?The main group against the use of discarded embryos is religious people.
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They hold onto the belief that a life is being taken when it’s being used for research. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) stated that “While some researchers still claim the embryonic STEM cells (ESCs) offers the best hope for treating many debilitating diseases, there is now a great deal of evidence contrary to the theory. Use of STEM cells obtained from destroying human embryos is not only unethical, but presents many practical obstacles as well.” The USCCB also explains all of the obstacles that scientists face when doing STEM cell research.
While many points are brought up, the author of the article is introducing a very great deal of religious bias. Another issue that comes with embryonic STEM cell research is the ethics dilemma. The controversy begins from the fact that the cells have to be taken from humans. The main question that politicians and ethicists are asking is “Can these cells be isolated and used and if so, under what conditions and restrictions? ” (Oxford Academic) Even though the cells can no longer be formed into humans, most people who oppose the use of embryonic Stem Cells hold onto the belief that if it had potential for life in the first place, it still does. Another side of this argument though states that due to the fact that it hasn’t developed, even a fetus shouldn’t be considered a human, much less an embryo.
While there is controversy, there is so much potential in using discarded embryos for embryonic stem cell research. Once the research is fully undergone, methods of curing diseases can be found. Another to consider, is that the cells have been discarded.
While they may have once had potential for life, they don’t anymore. The cells can be used to “yield information about complex events that occur during human development.” (National Institute of Health) The cells provide aid with diseases by “identifying how undifferentiated STEM cells become the different cells that form the tissues and organs.
” Cancer and birth defects are some of the diseases that fall into that area. STEM cells can also be used to look more into cell division and the molecular and genetic signals that cause it. The main argument that could be made against this is looking at how the cells are destroyed. Even though the cells could be considered no longer alive, it can be viewed as unethical due to the people who think that the embryos are still living.While it is perceived as unethical, there are many plus sides to embryonic STEM cell research. So much good can come from it once all complications are overcome.
There is so much potential, that that even if there are some unethical bits, they can be overlooked. To conclude, discarded embryos should be used in embryonic stem cell research.