Embryonic Stem Cell Research in the USA Essay
The Reasons Behind Opening Embryonic Stem Cell Research in the USA.
Today, the issue concerning the discovery and isolation of embryonic stem cells is one of the most significant issues in modern medicine because it is connected with the future of modern medicine that will provide new methods of treatment and will lengthen the patients’ lives. In the United States, the embryonic stem cell research is a much debated issue in politics. Moreover, different people have different opinions concerning the reasons behind opening embryonic stem cell research in the USA.
Of course, there are both advantages and disadvantages of this type of research. On the one hand, the embryonic stem cell research can help to cure such terrible diseases as cancer, Parkinson disease, Diabetes, Heart diseases, and other ones which are considered to be cureless in our modern medicine. The major reason which describes the help of the embryonic stem cell research in the above mentioned cases lies in the fact that those regenerative cells which are used in this type of research can easily reproduce any cell of the human body. It means that any ill organ of the human body can be changed into a new one. On the other hand, the embryonic stem cell research is an anti-religious action as it does not support God’s “masterful plan” of using cells from unborn children. (Sunsom, 2010, para.4)
Although the embryonic stem cell research is unethical, it can help to bring positive results in treatment of most incurable diseases and save millions of people on our planet.
THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM EMBRYONIC STEM CELL
In order to understand the major reasons behind opening the embryonic stem cell research, it is necessary to give a definition of the term embryonic stem cell.
Embryonic stem cell is a cell which was taken from the embryo. This cell has no any nerve endings and muscle mass and it cannot be differentiated. However, this cell has a very good advantage – it can be transformed into any cell of the human body. It is known that different diseases cause partial or complete destruction of cells in the human body. The embryonic stem cells will be able to produce absolutely new cells. This fact is considered to be a great innovation in the modern medicine. It can be a good remedy for all the diseases in the world. One more important thing is that the embryonic stem cells are used as “the basic building blocks for some 260 types of cells”. It is also known that such primary clinical sources as “the aborted fetus” and “the unused embryos” are kept frozen in the special IVF facilities. (Hollowell, 2002, p.1)
THE MAJOR REASONS BEHIND OPENING THE EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH
It is clear that the embryonic stem cell research will provide a lot of benefits to our modern medicine. In order to evaluate the beneficial consequences of the embryonic stem cell research, it is very important to realize all the complexities and different factors which can influence this new type of research.
The experts are sure that special attention should be paid to “the medical potential of the embryonic stem cell research and cultivation”. It will include “somatic gene therapy for genetic disorders” as well as “the generation of replacement tissues and organs for transplant”. (Rickard, 2002, p.3)
Although it is difficult to reach a compromise in the controversy concerning the embryonic stem cell research, there is a common benefit – cloning which means that “life begins at conception”. Thus, cloning technology destroys “the scientific and legal basis” of difference between pre-embryo and embryo. (Hollowell, 2002, p.1)
It is known that cloning is one of the most important advantages of the embryonic stem cell research. Cloning will give an opportunity to grow limbs and organs which will be transplanted into the patients with health problems. It means that those patients who have ill kidneys or other organs will be able to improve their health by means of new organs created by the embryonic stem cells. The exact DNA matches will guarantee the success of the transplant process. Moreover, it is necessary to say that according to the research, the embryonic stem cells can regenerate what gives an opportunity to any organ or tissue to be regrown in the human body. Of course, this process is also connected with human DNA. (Chavis, 2010, para.6)
One of the advantages of the embryonic stem cell research is that it is not necessary to carry out human or animal testing. According to the statistical data, about 70 million animals are killed by different medical testing each year. The embryonic stem cell research will be able to save the lives of a great number of animals on our planet. (Chavis, 2010, para.3)
The other very important thing is that by means of the embryonic stem cells, all doctors and scientists will have an opportunity “to prevent a great deal of birth defects”. It is not a secret that various forms of defects can be found in the womb at various stages of embryo development. The embryonic stem cell research will help “to find the exact point” of the mutation of certain cells which cause certain birth defect. Theoretically, the embryonic stem cells will be able to prevent this negative process. It will occur by means of stimulation or blockage of some enzymes in the womb. According to the statistical data represented by the University of Virginia, more that 3% of newborns have some serious birth defects which can damage normal development in the future. It is known that those experts who have already explored some positive effects of the embryonic stem cell research are sure that they will be able to reduce this number to 1%. It means that the embryonic stem cells will help those children who were born with birth defects to become healthy and lead a normal life. (Chavis, 2010, para.2)
THE DISADVANTAGES OF THE EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH
Although there are a great deal of positive consequences of the embryonic stem cell research which have already been mentioned in this paper, one can find some disadvantages which should be taken into consideration by the researchers in the process of the future scientific work.
It is known that the embryonic stem cell research is connected with the embryonic stem cells witch are rather difficult to control. That is why it may take a lot of time before the positive results are achieved and the desired cell line is derived in a proper way. (Sunsom, 2010, para.6)
The other disadvantage which is considered to be one of the most important disadvantages and have already been discussed in our society is connected with the fact that the use of the embryonic stem cells destructs the embryos which are from 5 to 7 days old. It is unethical and immoral. (Prentice, 2005, para.5)
One more important thing is that there may be a so called “immunogenetic reaction”. It is also a disadvantage of the embryonic stem cell research because some stem cells may be rejected after the process of transplantation. It can cause some risk because the patient’s state of health may become worse. It is also known that the embryonic stem cells may trigger such terrible complication as cancer or tumor formation. Of course, this fact influences the further development of the research. The scientists should make everything possible to avoid such terrible complications during the process of transplantation. It is clear that a lot of work should be done to achieve positive results without any risks to human life and health.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that the embryonic stem cell research is one of the greatest advancements in the medicine of the present day because it gives an opportunity to treat a number of deadly diseases and to save a great deal of patients with different health disorders. However, the moral and ethical issues of our society which are closely connected with the embryonic stem cell research hamper its further development. The opponents consider that it is wrong to take stem cells from embryos. This method devalues the worth of human life. The opponents of the embryonic stem cell research organized a movement to protect the pre-born human life and to follow the principles of morality.
Although the researchers tried to overcome the above mentioned objections and used only those embryos which were not used in fertility treatments but they were destroyed. The US President George Bush was also against this method and issued some policies which did not allow to use those embryos that were destroyed over a long period of time in clinics.
It is very important to say that the government should not oppose the embryonic stem cell research because it is the best way to treat bad patients. The appropriate federal funding will help millions of people who suffer from incurable diseases to improve their health and to continue life. The Americans should evaluate the situation and to find a so called “balance between morality and scientific advancement”. (Ray, 2010, p.9)