Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Lets Debate Part 2- Embryonic Stem Cells

So if embryonic stem cells result in such positive outcomes why does the religious community object?

In the final instalment of this series on embryonic stem cells, we are going to look at the religious point of view and why this community disagrees with embryonic stem cell research along side my personal opinion as well. con-stem-cell-research


The Religious Point of View 

Taking a look at the cartoon above, you can see that one of the figures died waiting for embryonic stem cell research to find a cure and the other was an embryo used in the research. The problem with the cartoon is that the embryo is portrayed as a human which in the minds of certain religious groups is true.


Because these religious groups believe that ensoulment of a human begins at conception which can be viewed as the exact time that one fertilised cell becomes human, as a proper time (fertilisation, womb time, birth) has not been established.
Therefore, using the blastocysts to obtain stem cells would mean the destruction of the embryo which means that if the embryo is viewed as human since conception, this destruction would be considered murder.

Another debatable reason against stem cell research is that approving and funding of research such as stem cell research can result in scientists being open to human cloning even though this is a banned concept in many nations such as Australia where regulations are put in place for both human cloning and stem cell research.

My Opinion

controversy cartoon

To explain my opinion on the topic I want to start off by looking at the cartoon above. During most if not all scientific discoveries  there are always different sides arguing their opinion on what is right and wrong.

In this case I support the scientific side but I also understand the religious view and these are the reasons why: 

  • Embryonic stem cell research is a phenomenal field that can cure many diseases if given the right attention and funding but only if  the embryos used were of patient consent.
  • Yes, there is the potential of the blastocyst to grow into a baby but there are always complications that occur in pregnancies.
  • As seen in the cartoon above, people go with the majority votes without learning about the facts, people do not see the benefits that stem cell research can provide because they are clouded by judgements made by others.
  • There are potentials in using adult stem cells and iPSCs as discussed in the first blog post but all fields should be researched so that the best possible source of stem cells can be found.
  • No, we can’t define when an embryo becomes human and no it is not possible to choose one life over another but don’t we have to adapt to new findings to move forward?

It is a hard decision to make on which side to be on but I believe that if one embryo (that had the outcome of being discarded either by IVF or abortion) can potentially become the solution that solves an issue for so many people today, then it is worth the sacrifice.

If you want to research this topic further on the religious views click here, if you want to read further on the debate click here or if you want to learn about new discoveries regarding the topic click here.









2 comments on “Lets Debate Part 2- Embryonic Stem Cells

  1. Pingback: Lets Debate- Embryonic Stem Cells | Deakin Communicating Science 2016

  2. rosemarieraftellis
    April 26, 2016

    I think the creation and research into embryonic stem cells is quite interesting and I think that this is the way forward in the future to finding cures for diseases and prolonging life expectancies. I also agree with you on the front that rejecting stem cell usage and resources purely based on religion is a silly thing to do and makes no sense when we could be saving so many people and finding so many cures. Your opinion on whether or not an embryo is actually a human is absolutely well discussed. There is no cut off age as to when we become a human and if there is any chance in the human race moving forward then we need to make some tough decisions (which we believe are the best and most humane) in order to proceed. ( I think religion and science is an area that shouldn’t overlap nor become involved with each other so in order to continue with stem cell research I think we need to clearly define the differences and involvement of each. I really enjoyed this blog post and would love to find out what successes have come from the use of stem cells already.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on April 26, 2016 by in Burwood - Wednesday 12pm, Uncategorized.

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