Research on stem cells has generated more controversy and debate than any other scientific discovery or invention. The possibility of these stem cells to replace the dead or diseased cells in tissues of the human body has changed the dimension of the medical field. The stem cells have practically changed the outlook of scientists and physicians towards cell generation system in the human body. Moreover, the patients all over the world are offered a ray of hope to step into a new life with confirmed health. However, controversy surrounds stem cell therapy because it involves the technique of destruction of a pre-embryo or usage of therapeutical cloning. The usability of stem cell therapy is full, but for this, the removal of young life cannot be allowed on ethical grounds.
Stem cell research could pave the way to a medical world where the solution can be sorted out for many fatal diseases, but the brutality involved in it cannot be disregarded. The human embryo in any way cannot be suggested to be employed for the research or the treatment purpose. The consequences and medical ethical point of view to stemming cell research are essential to study as it is connected with the destruction of budding life. Stem cells are living from of human, and it contains DNA and removal of one life should never be a ladder to the presence of another. The information and facts for this study have been in qualitative form as it is obtained from internet sources, books and journals. A thorough review of the literature has been conducted, and analysis and assessments are drawn accordingly.
The Stem Cell Research
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells of dualistic nature found in human embryos and animals.The stem cells, while remaining undifferentiated, can expand or can differentiate and contribute to the development or repair of tissues of the body. In the website (Deem,2009)writes that “According to many stem cell researchers, embryonic stem cells are the preferred stem cells for cell-based therapies. Although they tend be more versatile than adult stem cells, other sources (including umbilical cord stem cells) have proven to be just as versatile”. The remarkable potentiality of the stem cells to develop into different cell type is the advantage many scientists want to make use in future. Recently scientist has used only two types of stems cells, namely: embryonic stem cells and non – embryonic stem cells.
The stem cells present in the embryos have the unique capability of regenerating when introduced in the body of the deceased or injured person. Stem cells have the potentiality in treating people suffering from heart diseases and diabetes. Stem cells are different from other cells present in the body. Unlike blood cells, nerve cells or muscle cells which do not replicate stem cells have the ability to reproduce. Presently the scientist is under the process of studying the signalling pattern inside and outside each stem cell with their differentiating process. Most research and laboratory activities concerning the human health benefits of stem cells have yet to begin. Stem cell research also throws light upon the specific properties of stem cells and their contribution to attaining new drugs and treatment.
Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research
The pros and cons of stem cell research related to embryonic cells can be described as follows.
- You, Most people and scientists, think that with the help of stem cells from embryo many diseases suffered by the people can be minimized
- You Many people believe that stem cells can help scientist in studying and observing the differentiating process it undergoes through replicating.
- Some people assume that stem cells can assist in reproducing major organs of people who are diseased hence prolonging their life expectancy
- There is an argument in the scientific world that the excess embryo generated for the in vitro fertilization should be destroyed or utilized for research purposes.
- You The fetus has many vital stem cells than adult cells and cord cells and is appropriate for stem cell therapy
- Many believe that the fetus has the potentiality of life and that it should be protected and preserved.
- Some people argue that the embryo has dignity, and this fact should be strongly respected.
- Much of the people believe that an embryo possesses a soul. The destruction of a soul is a crime.
- You Some people consider that using of the nucleus for research purpose is a murder. According to (Marzilli,2007,pg.50)“ Most pro-life advocates believe that because it acts after fertilization, it is a form of abortion and therefore murder.”
The Ill-Effects of Stem Cell Research
Although stem cells have many beneficial facts to it, the use of embryos to repair or regenerate cells in the human body is utterly unethical. The killing of a developing baby is a completely unacceptable practice and dignity of every human life should be highly regarded at all cost. In his article (Brahm,2008)mentions that “Men are generally larger than women, but that doesn’t mean they deserve more rights. Killing human embryos for science are size discrimination, pure and simple”. The author here makes it evident that due to the small size, the significance of stem cells cannot be undermined. Stem cells are indeed an origin of life, and destroying it for the sake of another being can in no way be a justifiable act.
Unlike sperm cells and human cells, human embryonic cells are whole, and life producing and researching on them can only count to an unethical and immoral human activity for the glorification of the medical field. Also, it cannot be neglected that a human embryo has the potentiality to create twins or triplets, and in such case, the depth of killing increases. Stem cell research is a new technology, and a stem cell can develop into 220 varieties of cells. If stem cells used for analysis originate from adult cells, then the subject could have been more feasible and comprehensive. But manipulating an embryo that is a developing infant for the recovering of an adult being is an entirely atrocious and cruel act.
As per (Hyun,2010, pg 71-75) “Those who oppose embryonic stem cell research believe for religious or other personal reasons that all pre-implanted embryos have a moral standing equal to all living persons, whether in a fertility clinic or in the body of a woman. Here the author is substantially justified in mentioning that embryos have the same quality of life as any human being and using them for clinical research activities is a crime. Many of the religious leaders across the world had questioned about the moral and ethical acceptability of the stem cell research procedure. When using adult or cord blood cells for research has no controversies attached, there is no noble background for using human embryos on any kind of clinical or laboratory research.
Every religion protects and safeguards human life and human rights as it is considered as a form of the divine. According to the religious perspective, human beings are bound by ethics and moral conducts. Every action of a human being should be virtuous and directed towards the well being and protection of human life. From the viewpoint of religion, human embryos are considered as human persons and from the time of conception, it has acquired the privilege to live and get ensouled. A fetus in every respect has the right to live, and there should be no human intervention in what so ever manner to interrupt this divine process of reproduction. It is immoral and inhumane to think that just because the embryo is a lump of cells, they are less of human.
Stem Cell Research is a Social Crime
From a medical ethical point of view stem cell research can never be justified in any manner as a condemnation of life never should be a door to treatment. Even though stem cell therapy has many promising, the lethal factor attached to it makes it a core unethical and immoral activity. The controversies and debate on stem cell research concentrate on the point whether the embryo is a person or not. As per (President Council,2011)“ Either the early embryo is a person with the right to life, in which case stem cell research is wrong, or early embryo is not a person, and then there is no moral objection to stem cell research work” But everyone understands that embryo is a living form in an early stage with a potentiality to grow into a person. If life at the embryonic stage is destroyed then from an ethical and moral point of view, it is an inhumane act.
The embryo is starting of life, and every form of life is a divine gift of God and annihilation of it is a social crime. A fetus in the mother’s womb is a growing offspring and in no situation can be exploited for medical enhancement or scientific experiments. The author here mentions that if the embryo is not a person, then it is not a moral objection. But the fetus is in a developing stage and is full of life, and it is in a growing phase has complete right to grow into a person or a human being. Stem cell research is an act involving the destruction of persons and government, or legislative bodies should do everything they can to stop it.
Life is not something which can be used for experimenting and later discarded if the results fail. Every human has the right to project presence as he protects himself. As per (Johansen,2001)“Even if stem cell treatments ultimately prove successful, embryonic stem cell treatment involve the deliberate killing of a human being in order to use his body parts to treat another human being”. Life is a gift from God and exploiting and manipulating it with the will of human beings is a shameful and heinous act.
It can also be considered that embryonic research is against international law. It is a complete criminal act to use genetic material and carry out medical research on people who have no choice in matters. Innocent human life is valuable no matter how tiny or small it is.
Stem cell cannot be progressive without the supply of human embryos. Where could these embryos come from? It would not be difficult to assume that they shall be obtained by impregnating women from the low-income level or poor class. This immoral concept and activities of a scientist are not very different from the attitude of the Nazi scientist who experimented on inhuman grounds. The scientist is attempting to fest upon the lives of an innocent living being to conduct experiments which show the moral-less nature of the society. Until now, the material for stem cell research has been the remaining of babies left after an abortion procedure. But now the scientist wants embryos to carry out worthy experiments which can bring about a significant result.
It is a fact that embryos do not look like a human being, but that does not make it less of a life. The nuclei do not feel pain or possess consciousness, but if then killing of a person in a coma can also be justified. It is a shame on society that it nurtures such immoral thought and activities in the name of science and therapeutic advancement. Research is something which should bring about light and glory to human society rather than darkness and murderous concepts. We do not have the right to sacrifice a life for the benefit of another as we are not the giver of life and destroyer of it. Destroying babies to initiate scientific experimenting projects shows how much the world has doomed into malicious activities.
If it is possible to extract stem cells from a fertilized egg, then the concept would not be dangerous as it is now. Many argue that embryos in the initial stages are just clump of cells until two weeks of growth. The point is not what it is now, but the point is what it would be in future. Human beings are not animals, and we have a moral consensus and ability to compare good and evil and understand the difference of one from another. Killing an embryo is an act which is murderous but also shows the brutal and immoral nature of human being who is otherwise considered civilized and ethical. Instead of the embryonic cell, it is suggestive to scientifically harvest stem cells from adult cells and bring forth discovery that can make human proud.