Research Paper: Bioethical Dilemma: Research With Embryonic Stem Cells

Pages: 2 (824 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Medicine  ·  Buy This Paper

Bioethical Dilemma: Research With Embryonic Stem Cells

One of the most controversial issues to emerge in modern medicine has been the question of whether it is ethical to use embryonic stem cells in biomedical research. The issue touches upon one of the most basic ethical debates of all: when does human life begin? Even the Book of Genesis merely states: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:28). In terms of when life begins, theologians and doctors continue to debate where to draw the line in the developmental process.

Since abortion became established as a constitutional right, the individual's ability to choose to have or not carry a fetus to term has defined the parameters of the question of when life begins -- until now. The use of human embryos in medical research has made the ethics of the question of when life begins even more complex. The ramifications of banning the practice of or even banning federal funding for embryonic stem cell research has ramifications beyond the individual, and could affect the ability of humankind to treat some of the most mysterious and debilitating illnesses that currently elude medical treatment.

Embryonic stem cells are "derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro, in an in vitro fertilization clinic. They are donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors" (Eustice & Eustice 2006, p.1). The effectiveness of the use of these cells in research was first discovered in 1995, but stem cell research was ineligible for federal funding until March 2009 because of the ban on (National Institute of Health) NIH-funded human embryo research. This prohibition was only recently lifted by President Barack Obama (AAAS, 2009).

Opponents of stem cell research state that "human life begins as soon as an egg is fertilized, and they consider a human embryo to be a human being. They therefore consider any research that necessitates the destruction of a human embryo to be morally abhorrent" (AAAS, 2009). Opponents of stem cell research also oppose reproductive technology that assists the infertile, if any embryos are destroyed in the process. However, supporters of stem cell research note that embryonic stem cells are uniquely beneficial for researchers who are seeking to find cures for serious diseases, particularly conditions which involve the destruction of vital organ tissues. Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, arthritis and lupus are just… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Bioethical Dilemma: Research With Embryonic Stem Cells.  (2010, June 15).  Retrieved October 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/bioethical-dilemma-research-embryonic/3368865

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"Bioethical Dilemma: Research With Embryonic Stem Cells."  Essaytown.com.  June 15, 2010.  Accessed October 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/bioethical-dilemma-research-embryonic/3368865.