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The debate about stem cell research has attracted political, religious, and social viewpoints, and tends to polarize nations. The section that supports the stem cell research invokes the potential benefits of treating the debilitating conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries. In contrast, those opposing the research argue that stem cell violates the right to life and human dignity. The arguments from both groups raise critical moral principles that center on preventing human suffering and respecting life regardless of developmental stage. The duty to cushion human beings from afflictions such as diseases is a fundamental moral principle. Similarly, according human life the dignity it deserves is a primary moral principle. Since it is impossible to respect the two principles when pursuing stem cell research, the society needs to have a solid stand on this issue. Although it raises moral questions, the stem cell research holds a lot of promise to develop cures for many conditions, and thus, scientists should pursue it.
Stem cell research has the potential of developing cures to treat the most debilitating conditions. Diseases such as heart conditions, diabetes, and Parkinson’s, as well as, spinal injuries inflict intense sufferings on human beings. The burden of diabetes and cardiovascular conditions is increasing worldwide. Statistics show that about seven in every ten people die from chronic diseases in America (Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease). Such illnesses disable and reduce the quality of life of the Americans. Thus, a medical intervention to reverse the startling statistics and guarantee the Americans quality lives is worth pursuing. Stem cell research holds the promise to treat the majority of these chronic diseases. The manipulation of the embryonic cells to directed differentiation implies that the technology has the potential of discovering many cures for most of the conditions afflicting human beings (Dresser 336). No one wants to live a short life. It is through medical interventions such as stem cell research that can lengthen the lives of the people suffering from chronic diseases. Therefore, the ardent objections to stem cell research are ill-intentioned and deserve condemnation.
The stem cell research seeks to improve the rate of transplantation. The demand for organ transplant, especially for people with kidney failure, liver conditions, lung, and heart problems, is enormous. Many people die while waiting for the transplants (Sulmasy 68). Similarly, the incompatibility of transplanted tissues and organs with the recipients’ body systems results in deaths. According to Douglas and Savulescu, stem cell research has the potential to increase the rate of transplantation success and prevent the deaths that result from the medical procedure (309). It is noteworthy that the stem cell research induces directed differentiation of the cells. In this regard, the research can produce tissues that have genetic similarities with the recipient cells. By creating cells that are identical to those of the recipient will address the issue of graft rejection. Thus, the stem cell research has the potential to lengthen people’s life by increasing the transplantation success rates.
Stem cell research promises to offset the demand for tissues and organs. The demand for organs and tissues surpasses the supply. To bridge the gap, it is necessary to increase the supply or reduce the demand. Stem cell research seeks to achieve the two options. With stem cells, the scientists can produce tissues in large numbers to offset the increasing demand (Clark et al 734). Similarly, the stem cell research promises to cure many debilitating conditions that result in organ failure and increased demand for such body parts. Any objection to this research intends to increase the suffering and the numbers of controllable deaths.
The basis of the condemnation of the stem cell research is on a single moral dimension. The opponents argue that the research violates the fundamental right to life. According to Hyun, using stem cells for research is disrespect for human dignity (127). The manipulation of human life supported by the stem cell research crosses the ethical lines. In this regard, the opponents argue that the research infringes on the rights of innocent life, and thus, scientists should not pursue it. Nonetheless, the opponents should approach the issue from different perspectives to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the research. The potential benefits of stem cell research are more than the threats. Some of these cells are destined for disposal, and using them for medical research is valuable. The world needs interventions that can lengthen the lives of people.
The potential benefits of the stem cell research outweigh the perceived threats. Every nation is looking for ways to deal with the increasing cases of debilitating diseases that strain the economy. A compromise of moral standards for the benefit of the entire society and the world as a whole is a noble thing to do. Thus, scientists should pursue the stem cell research because it holds an enormous promise to cure diseases, increase transplantation success rates, and offset the increasing demand for organ or tissue transplants.
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