Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Both Sides of the Debate on Embryonic Stem Cell Reseach Part 1

Y-Life will, in the next few blog posts, present a paper written by one of our members, Ella B. We are showing you Ella's paper because it isn't biased. It merely presents an argument from both sides without heated debate. Read these installments and decide for yourself.

There are two main types of stem cells used for research, embryonic and adult. Embryonic stem cell research is extremely controversial. The problem with the research is that it involves the destroying of a human embryo. So far, it has not produced any cures. However, adult stem cells have already been used successfully in several applications. Those people who favor embryonic research justify their position by saying that, while embryos are human, they are not people. Thus, embryos do not possess inherent human rights. The opponents of this idea argue that separating personhood from humanity could ultimately lead to the elimination of all inalienable rights. Another argument in favor of embryonic stem cell research is that there are many embryos frozen in in-vitro fertilization clinics that will be wasted if not used for research. It is thus best to get some good out of the embryos by using them for experimentation. The response to this position is that destroying human embryos in an attempt to advance medicine is just as unethical as killing a born person for the same reason. The fact that the person or embryo is going to die eventually is no reason to purposefully kill them. The final reason to support embryonic research is that it has the potential to do great good. This good will hopefully far outweigh the harm done in destroying the embryos. The oppositionists’ response to this idea is that the outcome of research is unpredictable. It is thus unsound to justify actions based on their goal because that goal may never be reached. Since both the possible good and bad effects of embryonic stem cell research are so far reaching, people should be sure to take the time to understand both sides of the debate before forming an opinion on the issue.

To read part 2, click here

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