WEEK 6: Stem Cell Research Legislation
Abstract Stem cell research while very important in the medical field has and continues to be a source of controversy. Over the years legislation in the United States has gone back and forth over what is deemed acceptable and ethical as it pertains to this research. Due to recent legislation the ability exists to realize the potential of this research both in the United States and globally. It would be in the best interest of humankind for this research to continue with allowance and funding from the government.
According to the National Institutes of Health Resource for Stem Cell Research: Stem cells have the potential to develop into many different cell types in
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As the years passed and the debating continued, bans had been implemented and lifted in an effort to establish what was acceptable and ethical in regards to stem cell research. One battle in the forefront of stem cell research is the ethical dispute over the use of human embryos in research. In November of 1998, Dr. James A. Thompson discovered that human embryonic stem cells can theoretically differentiate into virtually any type of human cell, from blood cells to skin cells; thus offering great promise for new ways of treating disease (AAAS, n.d.). The opponents of human embryonic stem cell research believe that human life begins as soon as the egg is fertilized and therefore he embryo is a human being. Proponents believe that embryos cannot be considered human beings until it has been successfully implanted in the uterus. President George Bush made a major decision in regards to human embryonic research in August of 2001. He decided to allow federal funding of embryonic stem cell research to go forward, but only on cells already in existence, forbidding the creation of new human embryonic cell lines for research purposes (AAAS, n.d.). In June of 2007, President George Bush signed Executive Order number 13435 which expanded approved stem cell lines in ethically responsible ways. Section 1 of the Executive Order states: Research on Alternative Sources of Pluripotent Stem Cells. (a) The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary)