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Stem Cell Research be Morally Justified

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Introduction

Can stem cell research be morally justified? Stem cell research studies how these unspecialised cells are able to reproduce themselves and their ability to transform into more specialised cells. They are seen as potential cures for a wide range of diseases such as Parkinson's and diabetes, as well as treatments to grow breast tissue for many cancer survivors [1]. There are two main types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells, and they can be found in animals and humans [2]. In recent years, stem cell research has caused controversies regarding the use of human embryos or foetus which are obtained during or after an abortion or subsequent to a miscarriage [3]. The debate is very much centred on the ethics and the morality of the research, with politicians, medical experts and religious leaders sharing opinions on the issue. For people who believe that human life begins at conception, the use of embryos as part of the research is seen as a 'destruction' or even murder. ...read more.

Middle

There have also been reports that some mice that had been treated for Parkinson's disease with embryonic stem cells died from having brain tumours [4]. Also, the stem cells that had been stored over a long period of time had been shown to produce anomalies in the chromosomes, similar to the one that creates cancer cells. Politicians also have views on this matter. President George Bush of the United States assured in May 2005 that he is 'a strong supporter of stem cell research' but against the proposal of using taxpayer's money to 'promote science that destroys life in order to save life' [7]. Furthermore, scientists in Canada were no longer authorized to create or clone embryos for research, from 2002, but instead use existing embryos that had been discarded by couples [8]. Those who are for stem cell research argue that this study would help us treatments to many diseases. ...read more.

Conclusion

In addition, I feel that further techniques of obtaining the cells without having to destroy embryos will be discovered in the near future. Reference 1. Greene, J., (2007), Stem Cell Research: Just the Facts, The Herald Mail, http://www.herald-mail.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=157370&format=html, Date Accessed 11/04/08 2. The University of Edinburgh, Talking about Stem Cell Research, http://www.talkingstemcells.ed.ac.uk/index.php?action=ShowAll&id=12, Date accessed 13/04/08 3. Jones, D., (2000) A Submission to The House of Lords Select Committee on Stem Cell Research, http://www.linacre.org/stemcell.html, Date accessed 16/04/08 4. Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research, All About Popular Issues http://www.allaboutpopularissues.org/pros-and-cons-of-stem-cell-research.htm, Date accessed 13/04/08 5. Coghlan, A., (2008), Stem Cell Breakthrough leaves embryos unharmed, New Scientist, http://www.newscientist.com/channel/health/dn13170-stem-cell-breakthrough-leaves-embryos-unharmed.html, Date accessed 17/04/08 6. Dooley, D. et al., (2003), The Ethics of New Reproductive Technologies: Cases and Questions, Berghan Books 7. White, D., Pros and Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research, http://usliberals.about.com/od/stemcellresearch/i/StemCell1_2.htm, Date accessed 17/08/04 8. Philips, T,. Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research, http://biotech.about.com/od/bioethics/i/issuestemcells_2.htm, Date accessed 18/04/08 9. Coghlan, A., (2008), Stem cell transplant 'cures' diabetic mice, New Scientist, Issue 2642 ?? ?? ?? ?? Ella Villanueva ...read more.

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