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Jameson Stanfield

Bio 1010
Tues-Thur 1130-1250

The modern scientific field of genetics has opened new areas of study which can further advance
and help the human race. Since the 1960s, scientists have studied and discovered more and more what
fundamentally and microscopically makes us who we are. The discovery of DNA and consequently of the
human genome has lead to some exiting prospects. One of these prospects is the field of embryonic stem
cell research. Stem cells are unique and possibly hold major benefits to humanity because they are root
cells that can grow and develop into any kind of tissue. Possibly healing or repairing bad tissue. Like
most modern scientific revolutions over the ages, the stem cell research area has not been met lightly with
resistance by the public. Some governments have banned the research altogether while some have placed
strict limitations on its study and research. (http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/stemcells/scissues/)
Embryonic stem cell research is controversial because unborn human embryos undergo dissection. Stem
cells are then harvested for testing.
The harvesting of the cells and consequence sacrifice of potential human life unsurprisingly feeds
into religious and conservative groups condemnation of this research. Some argue that this is in fact
murder since the embryo would have been born into a human being had it been allowed to develop and
germinate inside a suitable mother. Most groups that are on the fence about the ethical issues of stem cell
research are usually opposed by the hefty price tag. These groups argue that the money spent on the poor
results seen from stem cell research combined with the moral implications, make closing down stem
research in favor of more promising enterprises a better option.( . Allum et., al 2014)

The science community and the more scientifically liberal community argue to the contrary. This
opposing view argues that since the embryo had not developed into an unborn child yet, that it is simply

and underdeveloped organism no different that lab rats or mice and that research at accomplished on this
expense is worth it. This leaves a very controversial and at times heated argument. The science
community also argues that if the research was allowed to go forward uninhibited that more profitable and
beneficial human applications would be found. Cures for many of todays modern permanent illnesses or
incurable disease might be halted before birth or well after diagnosis.
(http://www.healtharticles101.com, accessed 2014)
Personally, I am not a supporter of embryonic stem cell research. Studies have shown that for the
price associated with embryonic stem cell research, there are other ways of obtaining more beneficial
stem cells rather than harvest them from embryos. One of these processes is umbilical cord stem cell
research. Studies have shown that these stem cells are less likely to grow into potentially dangerous
tissue. 20 % of all embryonic stem cells usually grow into timorous tissue.
(http://www.healtharticles101.com, accessed 2014) There are clearly a lot of dangers and deep
philosophical and ethical questions associated with stem cell research. No one person has the right to
dictate what is right for the whole and so there will always be disagreement on the issue because there is
no clear definitive black and white answer. For me, the benefits of embryonic stem cell research do no out
way the ethical implications or the price tag. Why divide a society when the benefits have clearly shown
to be minimal? I am not opposed to doing new research; however I am opposed to the cost of stem cell
research both on society emotionally and fiscally. Until a better more affordable method of research
becomes available and via means where the ethical implications are negated, I will oppose the current
status quo of stem cell research.

References
1. Allum, N., Sibley, E., Sturgis, P., & Stoneman, P. (2014). Religious beliefs, knowledge about science and
attitudes towards medical genetics. Public Understanding Of Science, 23(7), 833.
doi:10.1177/0963662513492485
2. http://www.healtharticles101.com/stem-cell-research-pros-and-cons/
3. Genetic Science Learning Center (2014, June 22) The Stem Cell Debate: Is It Over?. Learn.Genetics.
Retrieved October 19, 2014, from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/stemcells/scissues/