Stem cell research lies in a position where no other biomedical development had ever lain. Lying on the brink of collapse from a host of complex moral and ethical controversies, its potentialities in saving the human race from age old debilitating diseases are enormous. It has been scientifically proven that this novelty can usher in an era of therapeutic interventions capable of preventing and alleviating numerous diseases and conditions (Scholer 2007).
For stem cell research to be accepted as a necessary instrument of therapy in the social sphere, it has to satisfy the counter converse which opine that it works against the respect and preservation of human dignity and life. Since the counter converse exists as a preeminent and fundamental moral principle augments for pro stem cell research must at the most basic level attain moral and ethical congruence. To attain this acceptance stem cell research has to prove that it indeed protects and and revers human life.
On the contrary, as part of an intellectual discourse, there has never been a necessity of complete agreement with every single assertion that strives to stimulate a retrogressive rather than a progressive scientific advancement. A complete agreement is only necessary if such a position is congruent with the broad struggle towards the achievement of human shared goals. Moreover, a situation may arise where preeminence between the alleviation of human suffering on one hand and the purported protection of dignity, sanctity and respect of human life on the other, is needed.
If such a tight situation arises, then undoubtedly stem cell research will carry the day as it guarantees healthy and meaningful living in the present and the future generations as well. Alleviating humans from suffering caused by the ravages and torments of disease exists as a fundamental and shared human goal. Achievement of this goals desires that all humanity accepts the potentialities of stem cell research so long as such research is carried out in compliance with the highest scientific and ethical considerations while encouraging public debate, public funding and finally public oversight.
From the political to the economic unto the social sphere, the discovery of stem cells and the therapeutic possibilities thereof still ranks as one of the most influential biomedical breakthroughs. Descriptively, these cells possess a biological uniqueness that enables them to self replicate and differentiate into any imaginable tissue in the human body. Due to this unique ability, they have been hailed as the answers in regenerative medicine and a host of other genetic diseases that are presently incurable.
Through somatic gene therapy, debilitation from these diseases may as well recede into medical history. These benefits are highly publicized and available for critical analysis but ironically the beauty of such an influential discovery has been allowed to degenerate into unending debates while simultaneously being overshadowed by trenchant and intractable questions of dignity, sanctity and respect of life and yet it is for the universal quality of life that stem cell research advances towards.
However, it is refreshing that a huge chunk of the populace has espoused public debates and are currently cognizant of these lauded benefits. For stem cell research to achieve its core objectives in therapy, embryos have to be harvested. With regard to the pro-life augment, such an act destroys them and hence destroying life since embryos are regarded as human. As a counterargument, embryos cannot comfortably win the human reference that pro-life activists claim since embryos are not genetically human.
Moreover, moral relevance is only applicable if human beings are analyzed in the context of the society. The social sphere comes into focus because there are specific attributes and capacities like sentience, consciousness and reasoning which only exist in the realm of human beings but not in that of the embryo. Assuming that embryos are accepted as humans, then there would be no need of infertility treatments or birth control interventions as they undoubtedly justify the destruction of excess human embryos.
On the basis of this assertion it is morally congruent and ethically right to harvest these excess embryos and use them in stem cell research for the benefit of humanity. This assertion has always been vehemently denied by ethicists who posit the claim that human life commences at conception or fertilization and as such even embryos deserve the same kind of respect and dignity bestowed upon grown up human beings. Another claim opines that the deliberate harvesting of embryos for stem cell research only represents the merciless destruction of a defenseless member of the human race for the benefit of other beings (Gardner 2002).
However, pro stem cell research activists have continually reiterated that the embryo has not in any way attained any significant degree of person hood hence augments positing embryos as human beings are null and void. In view of the uncertainties that surround the realization of the potential benefits of stem cell research and which are pointed out by pro-life activists as being supportive of the need to abandon stem cell research, it is wise to cite that in the event that embryos are not used for any beneficial undertaking, then they would inevitably be wasted.
This natural progression to inevitable destruction calls onto human beings to employ powers of intellect bestowed upon them as intellectual beings to use such resources for their own benefits. Letting such valuable resources go into wastage while there are technologies that can transform them to benefits for the human race does not sound as an intellectual motive. Stem cell research obliterates the passive failure of human beings to intervene as embryos naturally progress to their natural demise. In addition it cures the economical insensitivity of letting beneficial embryos progress to wastage.
Due to the blurry nature of the distinctions of omissions and acts in life, stem cell research does not in any way violate the moral understanding of omissions and acts since in both the natural and the deliberating harvesting of embryos, the end result is equal: death. Letting embryos progress to natural death is understandably an omission, while using them for human benefits before they eventually die constitutes an act but contrary to common moral analysis; does not violate the moral underpinnings of omissions and acts.
It is possible to create embryos primarily for stem cell research purposes. This creation is currently acceptable only for reproductive purposes. However, a counterargument posits that if such an avenue was to be legalized then an erosion of moral distinctions may ensue hence dramatically prompting the utilization of spare embryos that are currently used in reproductive research for stem cell research as well. Alternatively, stem cell research could specifically target the adult stem cells.
But this alternative is unsatisfactory as adult stem cells are multipluripotent in contrast to the embryonic cells which are pluripotent. Due to their nature, their differentiation is restricted and not unlimited (Wood 2007). The only advantage they possess is their immunological compatibility with the donor cells. It is for these same limitations that stem cell researchers desire to use embryonic stem cells and not adult stem cells. It is wise to support stem cell research without not even a fair disregard to the equally grave moral and ethical dilemmas.
This assertion does not in any way support that the role of science in offering urgent and long term solutions for the society’s benefit should be eliminated. As days trudge on, the debate thirsts for serious desensitization of the destruction of life augment. AS desensitization ensues the real debate will become entrenched in the scientific establishment, the regulatory authorities and the society at large. With increased tolerance on embryo harvesting, the real potentiality of stem cell research will be unlocked.
This is crucial because unless such a desensitization takes place, the stem cell research controversy will forever stimulate the clash between science, religion, morality, and ethics. A succinct analysis of the nature and plausibility of all arguments is necessary because as the human race advances to higher levels of civilization and intelligence, they are going to be more more inclined to using the power and knowledge bestowed upon them for the betterment of humanity.
The fact that there are are variety of incurable debilitating diseases causing human suffering calls on resolutions of these debates as a matter of urgency. It is an evil motive to keep the full realization of the potentiality of stem cell research at bay while thousands and millions of the worlds populace continue to suffer from causative agents that can be completely eradicated. References Gardner RL (2002).
Stem cells: potency, plasticity and public perception. Journal of Anatomy 200 (3): 277–82. Hans R. Scholer (2007). The Potential of Stem Cells: An Inventory. In Nikolaus Knoepffler, Dagmar Schipanski, and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner. Humanbiotechnology as Social Challenge. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 28. Wood KJ (2007). Embryonic stem cell transplantation: potential applicability in cell replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. Front. Biosci. 12: 4525–35