Stem-Cell Controversy

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Scientist have cloned a sheep and named her Dolly. They have also created "designer"� eggs cloned for chicken eggs and have grown an ear on a mouse. Now they want to grow human cells and organs from embryos. Although these hold great promise of what we can learn and do in medicine however it can be a little frightening. Are we going to far? Is there a line we need to be careful not to cross in order to avoid a hellish apocalypse? The latest biological/medical advances are in the field of stem-cell research. This issue sparks wide spread controversy whenever mentioned. This complex issue has divided the members of our political parties and pitted the scientific community against religious leaders.

Harvesting stem cells destroys the embryo, which entangles this issue with the debate of abortion. It comes down to whether or the embryo is human being. Does it have a soul? These are some of the ethical questions surrounding the issue.

Our government is secular so it shouldn't matter is these programs are federally funded. Stem cells have the potential to develop into any type of cell within the body. All of us start from a single cell, which is formed when the egg cell and sperm cell are joined. From that point differentiation begins, dividing the cells and allowing them to become specific types of cells. After four or five days of development cells are pluripotnet meaning they can form virtually every cell in the body but no longer can form human beings on their own. For that very reason scientist protest that nothing is being killed is it cannot produce life.

An alternative to the use of embryos is adult stem cells. Adult stem cells can also be used and no one is ethically opposed to using...