The Controversy on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Essay by scoleman219University, Bachelor'sA, December 2004

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The Controversy on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In today's society, we are faced with many horrible diseases and ailments. Some of these diseases are treatable, some curable, and some neither. Science is embarking on a new horizon of knowledge and research. Embryonic stem cell research could be a way to find cures for incurable diseases and treatments for untreatable diseases. Stem cells are master cells produces by the body that has not yet differentiated into a specific function and so can develop into any kind of tissue. Stem cells come from numerous sources in the human body, such as in the umbilical cord (these are called cord blood stem cells) and in bone marrow (adult stem cells.). More controversial is another type of stem cell found in human embryos. To harvest these, scientists must create embryos in a petri dish that are then destroyed at the end of the process.

Another source of obtaining these stem cells are from fertility clinics. These clinics destroy unused or unwanted embryos that were prepared for couples receiving in vitro vertilization. If they will be destroyed anyways, why not use them to benefit the entire human race by using them for embryonic stem cell research. U.S. News & World Report quoted paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve as demanding, "Is it more ethical for a woman to donate unused embryos that will never become human beings, or to let them be tossed away as garbage when they could help save thousands of lives?" (Sobel).

Not only is how we obtain the ES cells an issue, so is funding. As with any research there has to be money to carry it out. In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar voted YES on Proposition 71 stating, "I am, of course, a supporter of stem cell research. Research that we do...