The Stem Cell Controversy


   When I was doing the chapter 5 guided reading, I spent most of my time reading about stem cells. I wanted to know more about what they are able to do and the controversy in using embryonic stem cells. The main characteristics of stem cells, that you most likely know, are as follows: they can renew themselves and they can differentiate. These two characteristics are what most scientists agree on. There are also two different types of stem cells used for research. They are adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells

Adult stem cells are more likely to be rejected than embryonic stem cells, so embryonic stem cells seem better to research with. This is where the controversy comes in. When taking these cells from an embryo, scientists are killing the human child it would have been developed into. So far, these embryonic stem cells come from unwanted embryos. Politicians are trying to make this type of research illegal because they think it kills human life. I’m not saying whether this is right or wrong, but since abortion is legal and they would otherwise be destroyed, scientists should research them to help the rest of society.

There are many benefits from stem cells. They can be used to treat Parkinson’s disease which slowly effects the nervous system and increasingly gets worse over time. They can also treat diabetes. That would be a great achievement since about 25.8 million children and adults currently have diabetes in the US. Another disease that stem cells have the potential to treat is Alzheimer’s. I know people that have diabetes and Alzheimer’s. It’s devastating when your own grandfather can’t remember who you are.

Stem cells are able to treat all of that, but there have been successful transplants done. Stem cells have been put into patients to replace cells that have been damaged by chemotherapy. They can also help someone suffering from cancer and blood diseases by helping the immune system to fight it off. Stem cells have already proven to be invaluable to the people that have had the transplants.

You don’t have to agree with me, but I believe that embryonic stem cells should be researched. Only from embryos that are unwanted. I know this may seem cruel and the child didn’t have a chance to live, but scientists aren’t even sure if it’s a viable life form. The greater good should be considered when given such a difficult ethical question. Do you think that stem cells could help save people? Should researchers continue to do studies on embryonic stem cells? Has anyone you know been affected by a disease that stem cells could treat?

3 thoughts on “The Stem Cell Controversy

  1. I found this post to be very informative about stem cells and it led to research more about the topic. In addition to helping cure diseases such as diabetes stem cells can help people with heart disease, the leading cause of death in America. When stem cells are injected into the heart it can assist in regenerating new viable cardiac cells. Stem cells can also help with spinal cord injuries, which are very common in accidents. Scientific experiments point to stem cells giving paralyzed patients control and feeling over their lower extremities. However I do feel the way stem cells are extracted from embryos is unethical because although abortion may be legal I do not feel the embryo’s loss of life isn’t something we should benefit from. That was cause a push for people to have abortions because they feel it can help enhance people’s lives if they did so. I feel scientifical experiments should be conducted to create a way to extract the stem cells without compromising the life of the embryo. Regardless of this I think stem cell research can greatly change the world of health sciences for the better, many diseases that our society lives with can be cured.

  2. I have always been interested in stem cells, because they are so interesting and complex. I personally think that if there is an unwanted fetus why not use the stem cells from it to research the uses of it? It is known that embryonic stem cells literally have the potential to develop into any cell in the body, which could be used in so many ways, as mentioned. If you had a brain injury stem cells could be used to gain back those brain cells back. Why waste the potential of these cells when you could use them to save someone’s life it just doesn’t make sense why you wouldn’t use it.

  3. I actually was interested in knowing more about stem cells. I knew that there was controversy over the use of stem cells but I wasn’t sure what it was. This blog was extremely informative and what I was looking for. I do agree with you on the part if it’s an unwanted embryo why just destroy it when it can be used to help the cure of diseases. Also when I was researching about stem cells I found that they can even create brain cells. I think that could help millions of people who’ve been injured in car accidents or anything. I think the use of stem cells could lead to extraordinary advances in science.

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