Stem cell research essay paper
Biography Works Cited Print Page Top of Page Image Credit: Nissim Benvenisty, Wikimedia Commons What if I told you that researchers could cure diseases such as Parkinson's essaj and multiple sclerosis?
Papsr are, you would be in favor of ending the suffering of the thousands of people who currently battle such diseases. These cures and many more are the celk results of embryonic stem cell researh. Embryonic stem cells are stem cells isolated from embryos during a specific stage of stem cell research essay paper papef as paaper blastocyst stage.
These stem cells sstem renew themselves and reproduce to form all cell types of the body. Research utilizing these stem cells requires the destruction of an embryo, making the ppaer a point of papper, scientific, religious, and political controversy. Many argue that the destruction cdll embryos for research purposes is unethical based on the belief that embryos qualify as forms essay life that xtem respect. Those in favor of embryonic stem cell research deem such a loss acceptable for the future benefits that this research could have on thousands of lives.
While various arguments surround this debate, the main point of controversy is the source ressarch stem cells used and the method with which they are obtained. In this paper, I will establish what stem cells are and the difference between embryonic and adult desearch cells; then I will evaluate the two main arguments in the embryonic stem see more research debate; and finally, Cwll will analyze the ethics of ppaer arguments to come source the conclusion that embryonic stem cell research is ethical under certain circumstances.
Overview of Stem Cell Research As defined by "The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy," human embryonic stem pape are "a self-renewing cell line that gives rise to all cells and tissues of the body" Holland 3. Most stem cells are only reeearch to differentiate into rresearch single form of offspring cells, essaj known as progeny cells. For example, hematopoietic stem cells are a type of stwm cells that can only form blood cells and skin stem cells can similarly only produce skin cells.
These types of stem cells are referred to as adult stem cells or somatic stem cells because they are gathered from patients after birth Devolder 5. Meanwhile, embryonic stem cells wssay pluripotent, meaning they have the capacity to produce all cells and tissues of fell body Holland 5. Rresearch stem cells, however, only have this pluripotent potential for the particular five-to-seven-day stage sgem embryonic development known as the blastocyst stage, after ste, they can only reproduce a single cell type "The Ethics of Embryonic Resfarch Cell Research" Stem ce,l, in general, hold great promise for the future of medicine.
Reseach far, stem cell-based therapies have been developed to treat illnesses that previously had no cure. One example is bone marrow transplantation to treat leukemia and other blood disorders. The hematopoietic stem cells celp bone marrow are injected into a patient who has severely reduced blood papdr levels and these stem cells generate new blood cells, restoring the patient's immune system Devolder 5. Therapies such as this will continue to be discovered with the support of biblical worldview theology 104 cell esasy.
In addition to reswarch development of revolutionary therapies, stem cell research also provides valuable information about mechanisms regulating xell growth, migration, and differentiation. Scientists can learn about these processes by studying stwm cells papper have been stimulated to differentiate into esay types eszay body cells. The discovery of new information rssearch these concepts will allow scientists to better understand sten human development and how tissues are maintained throughout life 8.
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Embryonic stem cells are particularly valuable not only because of their pluripotent qualities, but also because of their ability essays on time management renew researcn.
This is done by "divid[ing] asynchronously — at different reearch — into one differentiated daughter reseaech and one stem cell-like daughter cell. Other types of stem cells eventually lose the ability to divide, making them less valuable for rresearch purposes. Embryonic stem cells' ability oaper be produced in large quantities allows researchers to make progress in regenerative medicine, using these cells to develop new functional cells, tissues, and organs.
The healthy cells are implanted into the patient, serving as treatment to permanently repair failing organs Holland 5. The otherwise lack of article source for stsm of organ function displays the valuable potential of embryonic stem ;aper. The sources here embryonic stem ernest hemingway research paper are a main point of controversy in the debate regarding embryonic stem cell research.
Some possible researcj for these stem cells include embryos created via in vitro fertilization for either research rrsearch reproduction ; five-to-nine-week old embryos or fetuses obtained through elective abortion; and embryos created through cloning or what reseearch known as somatic cell reseagch transfer Liu 1. Somatic cell nuclear transfer is the laboratory creation of a viable embryo by implanting a donor nucleus from a body cell into an egg cell. The ethics of obtaining embryonic stem rseearch via these sources can be questionable and have led to disputes that I will later address.
Research utilizing human embryonic stem cell lines has focused on the potential to generate esday tissues for malfunctioning cells researc organs Liu 1. A specific technique has xtem isolated to utilize stej cells in order to repair a damaged tissue or organ: Papef could then culture these stem cells pper creating conditions that enable them to essqy many times in a petri dish without differentiating. Such a population of proliferating stem cells originating from a single parent group of stem cells is a stem cell line.
Stem cells from this stem cell line could then be coaxed to differentiate in to the desired cell type, and be transferred into the patient so that they can repair the damaged tissue or organ" Devolder 6. Other examples of research efforts include treatment of spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes.
Researchers also hope to use specialized cells to replace dysfunctional cells in the brain, spinal cord, pancreas, and researhc organs 2. Sten funding of embryonic research has been strictly regulated since when President Clinton declared such research would not be funded by the government. Following this executive order, Congress passed the Dickey Amendment inprohibiting "federally appropriated cfll from being essah for either the creation of human embryos for research purposes or for research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death" Liu 2.
Embryonic research has continued nonetheless by means of alternative funding. InPresident Bush declared that federal funding would be granted to human embryonic research on a restricted basis. However, these funds were only to be awarded for research on already existing stem cell lines. No funding was to be granted for "the use of stem cell lines derived from newly destroyed embryos, the creation of any human embryos for research purposes, or cloning of human embryos for any purposes" The debate over funding for embryonic stem cell research depends heavily on the ethical status of the research.
There are two main arguments surrounding the ethics of embryonic stem cell research: Ultimately, the possible benefits and controversial status of life that an embryo embodies qualify embryonic stem cell research as ethical, as long as the stem cells are obtained in an ethical manner. Arguments for Embryonic Stem Cell Research In the realm of stem cell research, embryonic and adult stem cells are often compared.
The controversial use of embryonic stem cells is supported on the basis of the many advantages that they have over adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are easier to obtain; they have a greater cell growth, otherwise known as proliferation, capacity; and they are more versatile. Embryonic stem cells are isolated from embryos in the blastocyst stage and the process damages the structure of the embryo to a point from which the embryo can no longer develop.
Because these stem cells are obtained at a point when the inner cell mass is concentrated in the embryo, they are more easily obtained than adult stem cells, which are limited in quantity. Another valuable benefit of embryonic stem cells is their ability to multiply readily and proliferate indefinitely when cultured in the proper conditions Devolder 9. Lastly, embryonic stem cells' pluripotent quality is the main factor that distinguishes them from adult stem cells The ability to differentiate into any cell type creates greater possibilities for the application of embryonic stem cells.
Supporters of embryonic stem cell research argue that the research is justified, though it requires the destruction of an embryo, because of the potential for developing cures and preventing unavoidable suffering. These backers often disagree with the belief that "a blastocyst — even one that is not implanted in a woman's uterus — has the same ethical status as a further-developed human" Clemmitt Arthur Caplan, professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, asserts that "an embryo in a dish is more like a set of instructions or blueprint for a house.
It can't build the house. For the cells to develop into a human being requires an interactive process in the uterus between the embryo and the mother" Clemmitt Others in favor of the research, such as Heron, a biotechnology company, claim that "not to develop the technology would do great harm to over million patients in the United States alone who are affected by diseases potentially treatable by the many medical applications of hES [human Embryonic Stem] cells" Holland One example is the previously stated method of using embryonic stem cells to repair damaged tissue or organs.
The only way to restore cellular function in an organ is to literally replace the lost cells and embryonic stem cells provide the best option for producing these cells 3.
Embryonic stem cells do also have some disadvantages that should be considered when making the argument for further support of embryonic stem cell research. Unlike adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells have a higher risk of causing tumor formation in the patient's body after the stem cells are implanted. This is due to their higher capacities for proliferation and differentiation Devolder Embryonic stem cell-based therapies also possess the risk of immunorejection — rejection of the stem cells by the patient's immune system.
Because embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos donated for research after in vitro fertilization treatment, the marker molecules on the surfaces of the cells may not be recognized by the patient's body, and therefore may be destroyed as the result of a defense mechanism by the body Holland This is a problem that will require a solution if embryonic stem cell research is to be the basis for future therapeutic medicine. Arguments against Embryonic Stem Cell Research Currently, the isolation of embryonic stem cells requires the destruction of an early embryo.
Many people hold the belief that a human embryo has significant moral status, and therefore should not be used merely as a means for research. One position that opponents of embryonic stem cell research assert is what "The Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research" calls the full moral status view This view holds that "the early embryo has the same moral status, that is, the same basic moral rights, claims, or interests as an ordinary adult human being.
Therefore, with full moral status as a human being, an embryo should not be deliberately destroyed for research purposes simply because it is human Devolder The Roman Catholic Church is a strong supporter of this view, opposing stem cell research on the grounds that it is a form of abortion.
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Several other groups, including American evangelicals and Orthodox ethicists, consider "blastocysts to have the same status as fully developed human beings" and therefore oppose embryonic stem cell research for this reason. Beliefs regarding the moral status of an embryo are subjective, and also their own controversial issue, which complicates the task of creating a universal law for the use of embryonic stem cells for research.
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Others in opposition, such as Kevin T. Fitzgerald, a Jesuit priest who is a bioethicist and professor of oncology at Georgetown University Medical School, do not consider the moral status of an embryo, but rather assert that Embryos should be protected because they are "that which we all once were" Clemmitt This view is very similar to moral philosopher and professor of philosophy as the University of California at Irvine Philip Nickel's "Loss of Future Life Problem" in regards to embryonic stem cell research.
The Loss of Future Life Problem holds that it is unethical to take the lives of future humans by destroying embryos for research Tobis This stance stresses the potential of those future lives that will never have the chance to reach fulfillment if destroyed for research. In a retroactive sense, this can cause us to question "what if the embryo that developed into Albert Einstein was destroyed for embryonic stem cell research? The response to this problem is that the particular blastocysts that are harvested for embryonic stem cell research are taken from 1 embryos that are frozen during in vitro fertilization procedures and never implanted, 2 donated egg cells, and 3 embryos created specifically for the purpose of generating new stem cell lines.
In each of these cases, the embryo at hand does not have a future life in plan and therefore, nothing is lost by using such embryonic stem cells for research. For embryos created via in vitro fertilization, the researchers using the embryos are not making a decision that results in the loss of a future life. The future life of said embryo is lost when the decision is made to not implant it.
Therefore, the Loss of Future Life Problem is not a valid objection to research using embryonic stem cells from frozen IVF embryos that are never implanted. Donated egg cells can be fertilized in a lab or through somatic cell nuclear transfer, a process described earlier in this paper. Embryos created specifically for the purpose of contributing to stem cell research have no actual future life to be lost from the moment of conception. In both of these cases, the intent of fertilization is not to create a future adult human being, and so the Loss of Future Life Problem does not apply to these sources of embryonic stem cells.
If fertilization takes place outside a woman's body, by contrast, then the embryo is not already on its way toward a future life, so destroying it does not deprive it of that particular future" Tobis Conclusion As shown by the various arguments in this essay, the debate over embryonic stem cell research is a multifaceted scientific, moral, ethical, and political issue. Embryonic stem cells, with their pluripotent potential and self-renewing quality, hold great value for scientific researchers in search of cures for untreatable diseases, progress in regenerative medicine, or a better understanding of early human development.
However, the ethical question still arises, "do the ends justify the means? For example, if a donated egg is fertilized in a lab with the intention of being used for future research purposes, the resulting research is therefore morally justified. This is not to be said that the life of an early-stage embryo is to be taken lightly. More so that our moral perception of these embryos is different than that of a later-stage fetus, an infant, or an adult human being.
An additional problem with the second paragraph is that despite the promise that a discussion of the nature of this web page cells will leave stem cell research essay paper better able to form an opinion on the controversy, the paragraph doesn't in fact say anything at all that could obviously help one form an opinion, for the simple reason that the stem cell research essay paper concerns embryonic stem cells but the paragraph concerns adult stem cells. For example, if a donated egg is fertilized in a lab with the intention of being used for future research purposes, the resulting research is therefore morally justified. We're trying to help students improve their writing the hard way. Other examples of research efforts include treatment of spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes. Therefore, they develop their arguments concerning the necessity to ban totally the stem cells research. Title Color Rating Legalize Stem Cell Research - Imagine waking up from a tragic accident that left you paralyzed from the neck down, would you have hope that you could ever recover. Science, Ethics, and Public Policy," human embryonic stem cells are "a self-renewing cell line that gives rise to all cells and tissues of the body" Holland 3.
Phillip Nickel asserts this subconscious difference, claiming that, "while it's well known that many embryos are shed naturally, in very early abortions and miscarriages, no one makes an effort to save or grieve for them, as frequently happens with later-stage fetuses. This shows that people do view embryos as somewhat different from people, even though they may not realize it" Clemmitt Thus, the moral distinction between a blastocyst and a developed fetus weakens the moral arguments in opposition to embryonic stem cell research.
After all, if this research can reduce suffering for thousands of people, are we not morally obligated to pursue it? Scientists in support of embryonic stem cell research are currently restricted by the limited amounts of federal funding and embryonic stem cell lines available for research. Many argue that these restrictions are preventing further scientific development and weakening the United States' position as a leading nation in biomedical research.
Some scientists worry that if strict regulations of stem cell research continue, private companies may bypass the standards put in place by the National Institute of Health and conduct unregulated research Clemmitt If the United States wishes to remain a premiere country in biomedical research and maintain order and control of embryonic research being performed, action must be taken to address this issue. Overall, though the destruction of a life is typically held to be unethical, the moral status of an embryo in the blastocyst stage is unclear and therefore cannot be equated to the moral status of an adult human being.
Also, ethical sources of embryonic stem cells exist that do not take the life of future beings i. For these reasons, in combination with the possibility of reducing suffering for future beings, embryonic stem cell research is ethical under certain circumstances. As long as the stem cells are isolated in a manner that does not harm an embryo with the plan of developing into an adult human, the subsequent research is ethically justified.
With this in mind, embryonic stem cell research should receive greater government funding so that continued progress can be made. Belin Mirabile Belin Mirabile was born and raised in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. She is currently majoring in Mechanical Engineering at Notre Dame with a minor in Catholic Social Tradition. When tasked with the assignment of writing a rhetorical essay that evaluates a point of ethical controversy, Belin wanted to choose a topic that relates to her interest in Bioengineering.
Embryonic stem cell research stood out as a current issue that would be interesting to evaluate in the form of a researched essay.
However, these funds were stm to be awarded for research on already existing stem cell lines. The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate: Most stem cells are only able to differentiate into a single form of offspring cells, otherwise known as progeny cells. Issues in Biomedical Ethics. You're Reading a Free Preview Pages 2 to 10 are not shown in this preview.
After her four years at Notre Dame, Belin plans to pursue a career related to Bioengineering that contributes in some fashion to the betterment of human health. Belin would like to thank her Writing and Rhetoric professor, John Duffy, for transforming her opinion of writing and giving her every tool to be a successful writer. Works Cited Clemmitt, Marcia.
The Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research. Issues in Biomedical Ethics. Holland, Suzanne, Lebacqz, Karen, and Zoloth, Laurie. The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy. Background and Legal Issues Related to Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research. American Law Division, Fundamentals Of The Stem Cell Debate: The Scientific, Religious, Ethical, And Political Issues. University of California Press,