Is Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ethical?
The introduction and expansion of embryonic stem cell research initiated a highly debated ethical topic. Can our society agree to disagree? What are embryonic stem cells? What are stem cells? Is all stem cell research considered abortion? Debates surrounding embryonic stem cell research is further complicated by social standards and needs, religious beliefs, and personal morals. In November of 1998, a group of researchers announced that they had successfully isolated and grown a special kind of cell with the potential to develop into virtually any kind of human tissue. The scientists had made the discovery of embryonic stem cells. The discovery was considered to be an innovative
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The research of stem cells, particularly involving embryos and embryonic stem cells, has created a widespread controversy and a major issue in political debates. This is because starting a stem cell line requires the destruction of an embryo and/or the use of therapeutic cloning. Conversely, scientists believe that these techniques are necessary to pursue embryonic stem cell research. Even though embryos are destroyed when creating new cell lines, sacrifices must made to achieve medical advances. Scientists are finding alternate techniques of obtaining embryonic stem cells by extraction, which does not destroy the embryo or involve cloning. Some scientists believe that because embryos are capable of developing and growing, they are human beings and should have the same rights as we do. Embryonic stem cell research is believed to be unnecessary, the benefits of the research are a long way off, and that adult stem cells are proving to be a viable alternative. Adult stem cells are multipotent, stem cells that can produce closely related cell types; while embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, allowing them to grow into any cell type and making them easier to use. The benefits of embryonic stem cell research far outweigh those of adult stem cells and the embryonic stem cells will lead to medical breakthroughs more quickly. The main benefit is to gain the ability