Envision yourself sitting in your doctor’s office as they diagnose you with Cancer. Envision tears rolling down your cheeks. Envision the faces of your parents as they look back at you. How would you feel if your doctor explained that there is a cure to Cancer because of embryonic stem cells? Millions of people are diagnosed with diseases each year and fight hard for their lives, even when there isn’t any hope.
But things don’t have to be this way anymore. Recent studies have shown that embryonic stem cells can help cure diseases and injuries. Unfortunately studies on human embryonic stem cells are highly controversial because they do “not respect the dignity or right to life of the human embryo and instead treats him/her as resource material to be used for the treatment of others” (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children par.
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4). Human embryonic stem cells are one of the most legally and morally contentious areas of study. On one hand, stem cells, both adult and embryonic, are valuable for researching a huge range of illnesses and diseases, from cancer to diabetes to alzheimer’s.
On the other hand, many people believe that this benefit to medicine comes at the cost of potential human lives. Scientists and patients are suffering because scientists are unable to tend to their patients diseases and injuries because of the controversy. The people who believe life begins at the zygote, therefore, each blastocyst destroyed is the same as killing a human life, benefit. According to research scientist, Theresa Phillips, “Stem cells provide huge potential for finding treatments and cures to a vast array of diseases” (par. 8).
Embryonic stem cells are cells that can become any type of cell, which can help cure diseases from Crohn’s disease to Cancer. This is the reason they are so crucial, they are the key to opening any door. Allowing embryonic stem cell research to be legal in the US would prevent the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. It is already legal in the United Kingdom, Greece, Sweden, Spain and Australia. However, according to Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research, “life begins at conception, the blastocyst is a human life and to destroy it is unacceptable and immoral” (Phillips par.
11). While this seems like a reasonable argument, this topic is very similar to the controversy over abortion and many individuals also believe that it is women’s body and it is her choice. In fact, the two topics go hand in hand with each other, if the parents of the child would like to have an abortion, donating towards embryonic stem cell research could be an alternative, in which it helps save the life of another person in the process. On the other hand, National Geographic states “If parents agree to donate them, supporters say, it would be unethical not to do so in the quest to cure people of disease” (par.
5). This reconnects to how if parents do want to be donors, they should be allowed to instead of having to do something else that they wouldn’t want to do. Restricting people from having the choice to do so is unethical, not the process itself. Let people do what they want, afterall, it is their own bodies.It is said that adult cells, “immature cells found in bone marrow and other organs” (National Geographic par. 4) are an equivalent to embryonic stem cells.
However, according to National Geographic, “advocates counter that adult stem cells, useful as they may be for some diseases, have thus far proved incapable of producing the full range of cell types that embryonic stem cells can” (par. 5). Adult stem cells can do the partial function of an embryonic stem cell which is the root of the controversy. If both methods had the same level of quality scientists would just use adult stem cells. Unfortunately, this is not the case and the world will just have to wait for scientists to uncover a new source.Many individuals only see the negative in this process, however, rest assured there is a positive side. Taking away one life could save hundreds of other lives, which in my opinion is ethical.
According to The Washington Post “The potential to directly and significantly reduce human suffering is too great to close off every line of research”(par. 6). It’s too late to go back now, as technology advances minute by minute, day by day, year by year, the fight will be over.
As a country we need to recognize the ones who benefit rather than the ones who suffer.I hope that one day the great citizens of the United States will come to see that embryonic stem cell research is ethical and that it should become legal as it causes no harm to our country. In order to enact this policy, we should propose laws that clearly imply that the people of the United States believe that embryonic stem cell research is moral. In conjunction with my research, I strongly advocate for changing the perspective of Americans in order to make embryonic stem cell research ethical and in the future legal. Thank you.