Blog Post 3
By now we have established that Stem Cells, in particular embryonic, are a fascination in both the fields of Science and Medicine. With their ability to differentiate and replace virtually any other cell in the body, their potential for greatness seems optimistically limitless.
But now for the nitty gritty, the debate we have all been waiting for; Pros Vs Cons!
The potential for a breakthrough in science is by far the biggest argument for using stem cells. If successful, we can be looking at a global phenomenon that could see the fall of disease and injuries that require long and painful recoveries may be fixed within weeks, maybe days.
Many of the live embryos used in research are left over from couples who have difficulty conceiving and use externally fertilized eggs that are later placed in the womb, so if the eggs have to be destroyed anyway we should utilize what abilities they have to going towards research that could one day save many lives.
Although the research may cost a considerable amount of money, it is not comparable to the benefits that can be achieved if a successful use for these stems cells is made. We cannot compare money to the worth of someones well-being.
It may be many years before stem cells will make any groundbreaking headlines, but it is the hope it gives for people who may be suffering that one day there could be an answer or a cure for their ailments. It could mean that parents with some sort of genetic deformity or specific disease can have children without the fear of passing it on to them. Hope can be a very powerful motivator for someone who is going through something that is both physically and mentally debilitating.
The strongest argument against, unsurprisingly revolves around the ethical issues of embryonic stems cells which if you remember from my previous blog, requires the fertilized egg to be destroyed. A common standpoint is “a life is a life and that should never be compromised” (Explorable, 2016) which means that we shouldn’t destroy one life, and it should be valued with all the human rights. Many may argue that it is not conscious so it will never know it existed, but despite this, are we taking away the potential for life? These views go beyond just the general public, as many scientists refuse to work on live embryos for their research.
Pope John Paul II, who as a religious figure for the community is against the manipulation of life and supports many claims that we are ‘playing God’. He says in an article on Fox News, “we must reject practices that devalue and violate human life at any stage from conception until natural death” (Fox News, 2001). He as well as many others do believe that the human form should be left untouched and to progress on a natural path until we pass on.
Money is a big government standpoint for against, as research takes millions of dollar for equipment, not to mention years of dedication to finding something that may eventually just lead to a dead end.
A ban on stem cell research, whether with embryonic stem cells or any other type in general, would put a big hold on the future of scientific research. For us to make all these remarkable leaps and cure many ailments, we must expand and learn as much as we can, and I believe stem cells are the answer. Past research in the science and medical fields, although perhaps not ethically ideal, has furthered evolution as we know it and has made live a fuller and longer life possible. It is the potential and the hope that drives people to do incredible things and make incredible breakthroughs.
The only way we can progress and continue to maintain life ultimate goal of survival is to push those boundaries and challenge those beliefs. To do what is needed for the greater population.
To quote my childhood science hero…
“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one” – Spock, Star Trek
Explorable, Stem Cell Reseach, Pros And Cons in Research, 2016, [Accessed: 30/04/2016], https://explorable.com/stem-cell-pros-and-cons
Australian Stem Cell Centre, Fact Sheet 6, Ethics & law of Stem Cell Research, July 2010, Pg. 1-3, [Accessed: 29/04/2016], http://www.stemcellfoundation.net.au/docs/fact-sheets/fact-sheet-6—law-and-ethics-of-stem-cell-research.pdf?sfvrsn=13
Fox News, The Case For and Against Stem Cell Research, Published August 09, 2001, [Accessed: 29/04/2016], http://www.foxnews.com/story/2001/08/09/cases-for-and-against-stem-cell-research.html
Quote Gram, Star Trek- Spock quote, [Accessed: 5/05/2016], http://quotesgram.com/star-trek-spock-quotes/
Elegant Themes, The Big Debate- WordPress Trackbacks And Pingbacks: Are they Dead?, Posted Dec 15 2014, [Accessed: 5/05/2016], https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/wordpress-trackbacks-and-pingbacks