Society and Culture Media Reflection: Stem Cell Research (SCR

Essay by NZAOneHigh School, 11th gradeA-, August 2006

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For this assessment I chose to explore the topic of embryonic Stem Cell Research (SCR) and the ethical conundrums they pose for society. I have always been interested in the moral paradox they pose for secular and religious society. Are we morally justified in sacrificing one life to save another? Or is it better to preserve the moral rights and liberties of a human being, even at a stage where it is unconscious of its own existence, while allowing others to suffer? It is these sorts of questions that piqued my interest in this debate and inspired my decision. Through the course of my research I have learnt more about the actual specifics of this field of technology and study and now have far more grounds for basing my final opinion.

Let me start by explaining exactly what stem cell research entails. There are two main fields in this research: the cloning of human embryos and the use of stem cells to, in theory, cure a variety of diseases; from diabetes to Alzheimer's disease. The projected benefits from this sort of research are phenomenal. It is anticipated that once this research has reached maturity it will be a possibility to be able to grow organs, aforementioned diseases cure diseases and much more. The ethical issue in this however is that to obtain these stem cells, you need to destroy the human embryo from which you extracted the cells. From this point of view, embryonic stem cell research is almost like a super-premature abortion, in fact many Catholics feel that if any more federal funding or further leniency in SCR is given the it may pave the road for an increase in just that. Of course there are other ways to acquire theses stem cells. Specific cells can be extracted...