Stem Cell Research Embryonic Stem Term Paper

Pages: 8 (3558 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Biology

Stem Cell Research

Embryonic stem-cell research is not practically 'embryonic' and most of the ethical refutations in respect of embryonic stem cell research could be settled by more research. Restricting federal funding would not halt the embryonic stem cell research, but will only lead to a redistribution of research funds and above all majority of the Americans support embryonic stem cell research which is essential for the treatment of those who are challenged by serious diseases.

The research on stem cells has been vehemently criticized both politically and morally attracting the biologists to involve in ethical debates over the issue and generating in the common people to exhibit great enthusiasm in this arena of biology. (Lovell-Badge, 88) Why does stem cell research attract the ambit of public interest? It is because this research requires the support of government funding. Moreover, its prospect for international alliance generates the necessities for regulations for controlling such interchange. Ultimately, the probability that stem cell research would lead the way to consumable goods in the field of medicine results in the required input from the Food and Drug Administration. (Bobrow, 140) However much of debate and discussions on the stem cell research have been leveled on emotional basis, pitting the expectation of providing treatment to the acute medical conditions as against the moral convictions of several Americans. To come to an informed conclusion on human embryonic stem cell research, it is pertinent to have a clear comprehension of the concept of embryonic stem cell and also to be more precise about the possibility of the real usefulness of embryonic stem cells for medical treatments. (Condic, 31)

Ever since many decades the prevalence of stem cells has been known to the scientists, however, it was only during 1998 that the mode of culturing these cells from human embryos for longer durations and through several cell divisions was devised. (Marwick, 1192) Stem cells are identified to be the cells those have the power to grow into any of the 300 various kinds of cells in the human body. (Perrone, A5) Stem cells are remarkable for their capacity to self-renew and distinguish into varied kinds of cells. Some of the stem cells have been termed as totipotent cells, having enormous capability to self-energize and become distinct. The Embryonic stem cells are found to have the potentiality of pluripotent effect that enables them to generate tissues of all the three germ layers, however being incapable of constituting an entire living being. (Cogle; Guthrie; Sanders; Allen; Scot; Petersen, 993) In case of an adult while the stem cells are going through the process of cell division, few of the progeny grows into particular kinds of cells like heart or muscle cells while others stay to be stem cells, prepared to split again to constitute new focused cells to deal with the daily wear and tear on the body. Such stem cells are potent enough for regenerating themselves to renew tissue indefinitely over the entire life period of humans. (John, 47)

Another kind of stem cell is located in the human embryo. The human embryo starts as a single totipotent cell, generated when a sperm cell would fertilize an egg cell. A totipotent cell has the capacity to constitute an embryo, the tissues necessitated to promote the embryo in the uterus as well as the total tissues and organs that ultimately constitute the adult human. After a short span of time within the development processes of the embryo, the stem cells start to specialize. They constitute an empty sphere, termed as blastocyst that embodies an outer cell mass that will gradually constitute the placenta and an inner cell mass that will gradually constitute all the entire tissues of the human body. Cells in the inner cell mass are known as pluripotent due to the fact that they are not capable of developing into almost any cell type in the human body irrespective of the fact of their inability to constitute the tissues promoting the embryo in the uterus, they are capable of generating into almost any cell kind in the human body. Such pluripotent stem cells are the basis of the current ethical debate and discussion over applying embryonic stem cells for research. (John, 47)

Having a discussion on the moral and political views against stem cell research is significant to understanding whether the debate evolving around the stem cell research is valid or not. (Cogle; Guthrie; Sanders; Allen; Scot; Petersen, 994) We shall first of all understand the moral opposition to stem cell research. The most significant worldwide opposition to the stem cell research stems from the Catholic Church, irrespective of the fact that many individual American Catholics are not supporters of this idea. The official Catholic position is contradictory to in vitro fertilization since it is quite abnormal since it leads to the production of embryos which are not utilized. (Stem Cell Research: News batch)

Anti-abortion groups argue against embryonic stem cell research since it leads to the destruction of the human embryos. (Gareth; Byrne; Jones, 6) Many conservative pro-lifers and pro-life organizations consider the destruction of the blastocyst, which is a laboratory-fertilized human egg to be similar to ending a human life. They consider that life initiates at conception, and that putting an end to this pre-born life is ethically offensive. They consider it is unethical or immoral to destroy the human embryo of a few days old, even for the sake of saving or healing a suffering of an existing human life. (Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research) The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics advocates the case in this manner: "Destroying human embryonic life is not required for making medical advances, as alternative forms of attaining human stem cells as well as of repairing and also regenerating the human tissues exist and would tend to be developed." (Perrone, A5)

Many also consider that inadequate focus is accorded to find out the prospects of adult stem cells; which have already been applied fruitfully to heal many sufferings. They also advocate that very less significance has been provided to the prospects of umbilical cord blood for stem cell research. The opponents to the embryonic stem cell research argue that grants should be advanced to largely concentrate on adult stem research, to avoid many ethical concerns associated with the application of human embryos. They also mention that no treatments have yet been generated by the embryonic stem cell therapy. (Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research)

Now let us have an understanding on the political opposition to the stem cell research. President Bush has been antagonistic since long towards the embryonic stem cell research on emotional considerations. Being true to his bias against stem cell research, on July 19, 2006 President George W. Bush applied his constitutional privilege to veto a congressional act for the first of its kind in the six years of his office. The bill been passed through the Republican backed Congress would have accorded the required extension of the embryonic stem-cell research. It entailed for federal funding to facilitate the derivation of embryonic stem-cell lines from fertilized eggs that are preserved in deep freezers and already leveled for destruction. The President adduced in his veto message that the stem cells can be extracted from children, adults and the blood in umbilical cords with no injury to the donor and these stem cells are presently being applied in medical treatments. It was being mentioned in the New York Times that Karl Rove, head of the Political Affairs in White House, has stated that the embryonic stem cells are not essential since there is much potentiality available from the adult stem cells. However it need to be understood that the notion that adult stem cells have the same growth perspective as that of embryonic stems cells, is quite unconvincing. (Schwartz, 1189)

Now I shall express my opinion in support of stem cell research which is counter to the arguments stated by the ethical and political position mentioned above on the issue. A political disagreement about the new research, that has the prospects for providing treatment to hazardous ailments and to promote healthy aging, reveals the necessity to regard the public emotions and to legalize public accordance, along with the significance of associating patients in debates and discussions where the mode of biomedical revelations and ethical faiths crash. (Perry, 1423) With regard to the need for supporting stem cell research, I state here that on July 19, 2006 Bush lost a scope to extent promotion for research on stem cells that have the prospects to distinguish into many separate kinds of tissues. His veto disillusioned new avenues for the growth of embryonic stem-cell research and will lead to awful devastation: About a million of fertilized eggs will be destroyed without a single cell being allowed to cater to our comprehension of cell differentiation. (Schwartz, 1189)

It is essential to comprehend that limiting the federal grants to a confined number of cell lines will hinder the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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