Some claim that embryonic stem cell research is immoral and shouldn’t receive government funding; however, it should receive government funding because of the fact that embryos are not yet humans, there is a possibility of discovering cures, and we could put to use unused IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) embryos.
Scientist harvest embryos for stem cell research 5 to 7 days after the point of conception ( http://web.archive.org ), and the first signs of humanity don’t start to show until about 2 weeks when the embryo attaches itself to the uterus ( http://www.religioustolerance.org ); however, it’s important to remember that the embryos that scientist use are not conceived in a women’s body as most uninformed people seem to think. The egg and the sperm are instead introduced in a laboratory setting. Saying that using a 5 to 7 day old embryo for research is murder is like saying that using liver cells for research is also murder. It is important to remember that embryos are not human beings themselves, but they are instead the building blocks of a human being. Five to seven day old embryos do not have a heart, brain, or any structure that resembles a human. They are just a cluster of cells that could in time become a human, and based on a USA Today/Gallup Poll that asked readers if they were for or against President Bush’s veto on expanding funding for embryonic stem cell research 64% said that they were against the veto. This shows us the willingness of our Country’s leaders to put the peoples wishes aside and abide with the wishes of a radical minority who make themselves look like the mainstream majority.
Many people on the super-religious side which seems to be the side that the lawmakers of our Nation are on argue that the soul sets foot into the embryo at the time of conception, due to that belief they allege that utilizing embryonic stem cells for research encapsulates the basic definition of murder ( http://www.americancatholic.org ); however, their argument has many flaws and contradictions. One of those flaws articulates itself in the case of monozygotic twins, this happens when a single embryo cleaves into two post conception, this directly contradicts their argument that dictates that the soul enters the embryo at the point of conception, because if it held true it implies that twins hold only half of a soul and that definitely does not seem to be the case. Their next offense lies in their use of argumentum ad populum, this reveals itself when they use words like murder or “baby killer” when describing embryonic stem cell research. They try to reach down and pluck at our heartstrings because without any evidence or way to prove their argument it suddenly appears that it becomes their last sliver of hope to win people over to their side. In the end the United States government should not base their decisions on religious doctrine because all religion is based on faith, and by definition faith is the belief in something without any evidence to back those beliefs up. Many people have already tried or are living in a Theocracy, and history has told us time and time again that those governmental structures don’t work out. In the end people need to realize that our founding Fathers founded this Nation upon the principle of separation between church and state and we are reversing the clock and becoming a nation of religious zealots instead of going forward and becoming a nation of free thinkers.
If scientist had more Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research it could bring about many life saving cures for many diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart diseases, spinal cord damage, and many more ( http://stemcells.nih.gov ). With federal funding it would be possible for scientist to perform many more studies on embryonic stem cells. Without federal funding it becomes extremely hard for many scientist to get any funding at all for research. What scientist are trying to accomplish with embryonic stem cell research is to improve the lives of people all over the world. Today when someone is taken to a hospital with spinal cord damage, heart disease, or cancer they have a higher chance of surviving then they had twenty or thirty years ago, and that was made possible by research, and unless we want to stay stuck in the mud we need to provide money for this expensive research, otherwise we are cutting the hands off of these talented people and our society. These dedicated scientist are striving to raise your chances of surviving or curing this these and many more ailments.
Some people will also claim that we can attain all the same cures with adult stem cells from the same person who needs treatment, but unfortunately those people are wrong. Yes, it is true that we could potentially attain some of the same cures with adult stem cells, but not all of them. One reason why Adult stem cells are not a replacement for embryonic stem cells exemplifies itself in that fact that Adult stem cells acquired from a person seeking treatment for a genetic disorder would have absolutely no benefit what so ever. It would be the same idea of giving a person a blood transfer from their own blood. Another issue with adult stem cells has to do with the issue of lifetime genetic damage. All adult stem cells unlike embryonic stem cells have genetic damage due to free radicals such as the sun and smog, and this defeats the purpose of giving the patient new undamaged cells. On another note adult stem cells take a much longer time to find and to prepare for usage, therefore if the patient is short on time and every second counts then that long process becomes useless. In the end their notion that adult stem cells are a total replacement for embryonic stem cells is a fallacy.
Scientist have been using the same lines of embryonic stem cells for many years because once they start replicating an embryo they can theoretically replicate the stem cells from that embryo forever, but we cannot forget the importance of acquiring new material to work with that could speed up the process of uncovering cures. The act of using discarded IVF embryos for research is almost common sense for the fact that the embryo is already going to be thrown out. It seems unimaginable that we would rather throw out surplus embryos; currently 70,000 in Australia ( http://bootstrike.com ) because of a few stubborn people, and even with all of this information the laws of the United States concerning funds for the use of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) embryos for embryonic stem cell research favor a minority of the population that opposes their use; however when looking at a 2008 Time Poll we see that in reality about 73% of likely voters favor the use of unused IVF embryos( http://www.pollingreport.com ). We hope that this current attitude towards the use of unused IVF embryos for stem cell research change for the sake of humankind itself.
As expected there are people who oppose the use of unused IVF embryos. One of the arguments of the people who oppose this say that unused IVF embryos should not be used for stem cell research because they believe that even though the embryos are already going to die it violates the laws of the bible, and that it is immoral to kill a “human” before it naturally dies. Again in reality the embryos are not humans yet, and it compares to the gracefulness of donating an organ to help save other human lives, therefore using the embryos for research is morally and ethically correct. In their next argument they allege that using IVF embryos that are going to be discarded should not be used for research due to the fact that it implies that humans only have rights if people want them. This argument totally twists the reality in many ways, and this argument quickly breaks down and can be seen as a non-sequiter. The argument does not follow because of the fact that the embryos do not qualify as a humans because as we all know scientist involved only use embryos that are five to seven days old, therefore how could it be possible to take human rights away from humans when they are not humans in the first place, but again this is expected from a group of people who are used to twisting words to their liking. When looking at the big picture in the end, letting an embryo die without a purpose is worse than giving it a role in the circle of life.
In the end after taking all the evidence into account we come to the conclusion that embryonic stem cell research is moral and ethical therefore it should receive government funding. We should not constrict the great minds of this world because we will not know what options are best until we try all of them.