Adorable animal families that will make you "aww" The controversy over stem cell research in the US is not so much about the research or methodology itself, but more about federal funding of a program with significant moral and ethical issues attached to it. Private funding is available, and researchers are able to perform many of their experiments. Because federal funding can be substantial for projects of this scope, however, the uncertainty about funding can have a detrimental effect on the future of such research. Broadly speaking, the controversy comes from the nature of the stem cells themselves.
The Stem Cell Debate: Stem cell therapies are not new. Doctors have been performing bone marrow stem cell transplants for decades.
But when scientists learned how to remove stem cells from human embryos inboth excitement and controversy ensued. The excitement was due to the huge potential these cells have in curing human disease.
The controversy centered on the moral implications of destroying human embryos. Political leaders began to debate over how to regulate and fund research involving human embryonic stem hES cells.
Newer breakthroughs may bring this debate to an end. These cells are reducing the need for human embryos in research and opening up exciting new possibilities for stem cell therapies.
Both human embryonic stem hES cells and induced pluripotent stem iPS cells are pluripotent: While hES cells are isolated from an embryo, iPS cells can be made from adult cells. The Ethical Questions Until recently, the only way to get pluripotent stem cells for research was to remove the inner cell mass of an embryo and put it in a dish.
The thought of destroying a human embryo can be unsettling, even if it is only five days old. Stem cell research thus raised difficult questions: Does life begin at fertilization, in the womb, or at birth?
Is a human embryo equivalent to a human child? Does a human embryo have any rights? Might the destruction of a single embryo be justified if it provides a cure for a countless number of patients?
Since ES cells can grow indefinitely in a dish and can, in theory, still grow into a human being, is the embryo really destroyed?
With alternatives to hES cells now available, the debate over stem cell research is becoming increasingly irrelevant. But ethical questions regarding hES cells may not entirely go away. For now, some human embryos will still be needed for research. An additional ethical consideration is that iPS cells have the potential to develop into a human embryo, in effect producing a clone of the donor.
Many nations are already prepared for this, having legislation in place that bans human cloning. Stem Cell Research Legislation Regulations and policies change frequently to keep up with the pace of research, as well as to reflect the views of different political parties.
Here President Obama signs an executive order on stem cells, reversing some limits on federal research funding. White House photo by Chuck Kennedy Governments around the globe have passed legislation to regulate stem cell research.
In the United States, laws prohibit the creation of embryos for research purposes. Scientists instead receive "leftover" embryos from fertility clinics with consent from donors.
Most people agree that these guidelines are appropriate. Disagreements surface, however, when political parties debate about how to fund stem cell research. The federal government allocates billions of dollars each year to biomedical research.
But should taxpayer dollars be used to fund embryo and stem cell research when some believe it to be unethical? Legislators have had the unique challenge of encouraging advances in science and medicine while preserving a respect for life.
President Bush, for example, limited federal funding to a study of 70 or so hES cell lines back in While this did slow the destruction of human embryos, many believe the restrictions set back the progress of stem cell research.
Policy-makers are now grappling with a new question: Should the laws that govern other types of pluripotent stem cells differ from those for hES cells? If so, what new legislation is needed?Jan 11, · The largest controversy with stem cell research is the use of an embryo.
This deals with the controversies surrounding laws and beliefs regarding contraception, abortion, and in vitro fertilization.4/4(5). Just as the promise of stem cell research predated the reality, so did the political controversy and the active involvement of antiabortion activists.
The latest chapter in this long saga involves embryonic stem cell research—research using cells derived from days-old "spare" embryos, which were created in the process of infertility treatment.
Stem cell therapies are not new. Doctors have been performing bone marrow stem cell transplants for decades. But when scientists learned how to remove stem cells from human embryos in , both excitement and controversy ensued. Ethics of Stem Cell Research.
First published Fri Apr 25, ; substantive revision Mon Jan 28, While the principal source of the controversy surrounding HESC research lies in competing views about the value of human embryonic life, the scope of ethical issues in HESC research is broader than the question of the ethics of destroying.
Stem Cell Research Controversy - Stem cell research controversy is explained in this section. Learn about stem cell research controversy.
Apr 14, · Stem cell research offers great promise for understanding basic mechanisms of human development and differentiation, as well as the hope for new treatments for diseases such as diabetes, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, and myocardial infarction.