Argumentative Research paper on Stem Cell Research
There has been an ongoing debates and arguments about stem cell research over the past few years and as another year passes, the arguments seems to grow more intense. Stem cell research dates back to 1998 when the first stem cells were grown in a culture by Dr. James Thomson from the University of Wisconsin and Dr. John Gearhart of Johns Hopkins University. He and his team were the first to come up with a technique that would isolate and transfer stem cells. Complete federal funding for the research was available up until August 9, 2001 when President George W. Bush approved federal funds usage for only a few stem cell lines that already existed. According to the Congressional Research Services Chart below, the amount of government funding given for embryonic stem cell research purposes for the 1999-2005 fiscal years were limited. Clearly this shows that more funding was given for stem cell research in general than for embryonic stem cell research itself, which has yet to show any promise at all.
People on the side for embryonic stem cell research were understandably upset, as this decision would slow down the progress of embryonic research. Those against embryonic stem cell research were happy with the decision because they believed that the research was unethical and immoral.
There are two different types of stem cell research in this debate. There is adult stem cell research in which stem cells are derived from adult patients and there is the more controversial embryonic stem cell research which is derived from embryos. The argument centers more so on embryonic research than the adult research. The reason this argument exists is because there are people who believe that embryonic stem cells will one day be the miracle cure of the future and there are those who are against it and believe that it is nothing more than the murder of helpless human lives.
There have been many untruths surrounding the experiments done with embryonic stem cells. There are rumors that these cells can cure diseases which has as of yet to be proven. The research for embryonic stem cells is in its infantile stages and will not be known for years to come. Sure the benefits of embryonic stem cell research are a ways off but right here today adult stem cell research has already shown potential to cure disease. So the question is, why not set aside the research on embryonic stem cells, so that researchers can concentrate on adult stem cell research which has shown more promise? What are stem cells? According to the National Institutes of Health, Stem cells are cells with the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. Serving as sort of a repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. (National Institutes of Health [NIH], 2006).
These stem cells have been found all over the ...
The modern science has achieved tremendous successes in different fields. In this respect, researches in the field of genetics are particularly noteworthy because they can start a new era in the medicine and science at large. However, today, the research of stem cells and their use in the modern medicine often confronts the opposition from the part of the public as well as specialists. In spite of a considerable progress in the stem cells research, it still remains a kind of battlefield between opponents and proponents of the stem cells research. In actuality, there are no alternatives to the further research in the field of genetic, including stem cells researches because the potential of these researches outweigh arguments of their opponents.
On analyzing the problem of the stem cells research and related issues, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that opponents of such researches basically stand on the religious ground. At any rate, they view the stem cells research as an attempt of scientists to play God. Obviously, this attempt is offensive for representatives of different religions. Therefore, they develop their arguments concerning the necessity to ban totally the stem cells research. Their position is backed up by scientists, who believe that the stem cells research raise unsurpassable ethical barriers, because such researches can raise the problem of cloning and other arguable issues.
However, all the arguments of opponents of the stem cells research are irrelevant to the huge potential and benefits the research can bring to the mankind. First of all, the stem cells research extends human knowledge of genetics and functioning of living organisms at large (Benoff, & Grauman, 1997). The research in this field provides scientists with valuable scientific information that can be used in the medicine as well as other fields. At the same time, the stem cells research definitely contributes to the progress of medicine and genetics. In such a context, opposing to the stem cells research is similar to opposing to the research of the outer space and solar system in the Middle Ages. What is meant here is the fact that it is impossible to stop the progress. Moreover, attempts to stop the progress, including the ban of the stem cells research, can be harmful because, in such a way, the progress of the modern medicine and genetics will be postponed. Therefore, instead of the better understanding of the subject and its essence and using its full potential, scientists will view the stem cells research as a taboo.
At this point, it is possible to refer to numerous benefits the stem cells research can bring to the science, medicine and mankind at large. In fact, the stem cells research can contribute to the efficient treatment of terminally ill patients (Duin, 1999). For instance, today, health care professionals can save lives of patients who would have died without findings made in the result of the stem cells research. In addition, the stem cells research open larger opportunities for transplantation that will save lives of many patients and help them to return to the normal life.
Thus, any attempts to ban the stem cells research lead to the retardation of the development of medicine. In contrast, the in-depth research of stem cells will lead to the better understanding of the subject that will help to overcome ethically arguable issues since the better scientists know the subject of the research the less is the risk of unethical behavior of researchers.
Benoff, M., & Grauman, D. M. (1997). Mastering the physician integration challenge. Healthcare Financial Management. Westchester.
Duin, J. (1999, July). “Reckless reproduction?” Insight on the News 15 (26), 41.