Stem cell research is a hot button issue and has been for quite a while. In fact, stem cells are the central topic of one of the biggest controversies in recent history. This controversy is not just affecting the medical community but also the research community and the political and legal communities. What is all of the controversy about and what are the pros and cons about?
Stem cells are special non specialized cells. In other words, they don’t have just one function, they can themselves become and create other types of cells such as blood cells, brain cells, tissue cells, muscle cells and the like. Stem cells can be found in every body but they are much more numerous in the body of a fetus. Stem cell research is the investigation of these cells, where they are grown in tests and investigated to understand the fundamental properties of the cells as well as their capabilities.
As is the case with any topic, there are both pros and cons. Analyzing the pros as well as the cons can really help people understand why there are some who are very supportive of the research and why some are against it.
The Pros of Stem Cell Research
Stem cell research is supported by many because these cells have the potential to treat a wide variety of medical conditions and diseases. Stem cell research could even lead to a cure for some of the most traumatic injuries and disease of the human body. These diseases and injuries include but are not limited to:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Heart Disease
- Birth Defects
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Ability to replace or repair organs
This is just half of the story of the pros and cons of stem cell research. If one just looked at the pros, one might wonder why stem cell treatments aren’t in wide use. The cons are often what allow for people to think again.
Cons of Stem Cell Research
The cons of stem cell research are often fears of what could come of such knowledge and the moral implications of using the stem cells.
- Worry that stem cell research would make abortion seem like an alternative for a greater number of women, perhaps some that would not have considered abortion otherwise.
- The assertion that humans should not be messing with human life.
- The statement that humans should not be tying to play god.
Of course, this is a brief look at the pros and cons of stem cell research. Many of the debates and controversies go even further into it, such as how the stem cells are collected, why embryonic stem cells are preferable to adult stem cells and the moral implications that are involved with using the stem cells from a fetus that could have been a contributing member of society if it was allowed to grow to become a full term baby.