Today’s scientists are showing us how stem cells create and repair the human body. Unlocking these secrets has become the new Holy Grail of biomedical research. But behind that search lies a sharp divide, one that has continued for years. Stem cells offer the hope of creating or repairing tissues lost to age, disease, and injury. Yet, because of this ability, stem cells also hold the potential to incite an international biological arms race.
The Stem Cell Dilemma illuminates everything you need to know about stem cells, and in this new edition the authors have included up-to-date information on scientific advances with iPS cells, clinical trials that are currently underway, hESC policy that is in the U.S. courts, stem cells and biodefense, developments at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and growing international competition, plus all the basics of what stem cells are and how they work.
Stem cell research is headline news. Researchers are eager to move forward, state governments and private foundations are rushing to support it, and the sick and afflicted are desperate for its benefits. Yet powerful forces in our society — led by President George W. Bush — find it morally troubling and they are doing all in their powers to restrict its development beyond a very limited scale. Stem cells, which have the remarkable potential to develop into different parts of the body, are actually harvested from aborted fetal tissue or newly fertilized cells. Proponents of stem cell research argue that scientists are making legitimate use of already aborted fetuses and it is unfair to deprive those who are suffering the benefits of a potentially revolutionary therapy. Yet this practice has raised sharp criticisms from the Religious Right, who charge that science is capitalizing on an abhorrent procedure. Given the medical potential for treatment of incurable diseases by stem cell research, as well as the moral dilemmas this technology poses, should such research be permitted? What moral, religious, or political objections might be raised? Philosophers Michael Ruse and Christopher A. Pynes have compiled this valuable, up-to-date, and newly revised collection of articles by noted experts to address all aspects of the stem cell controversy. The contributors — scientists, medical practitioners, philosophers, theologians, historians, and policy analysts — offer a variety of perspectives to give readers the critical tools they need to shape an informed position on the topic. Readers will come away with a deeper understanding of the science of stem cell research, its medical cures and promises, and the moral, religious, and policy concerns surrounding this controversial social issue.
Several developments have occurred in recent times regarding stem cell controversy and the way human embryos are treated. Stem cell research forms to be the epicenter of all these dubious features. Firstly, the research involves creating, developing, using and destroying human embryos manually. Though the intention is a noble one reflecting the advanced ways of seeking protection human health issues, the process in which it is conducted contradicts with several traditional, religious and orthodox views. Stem cells possess the ability of curing any major illnesses by replacing the traumatic, dead or damaged cells.
Rising Uproar across the World with Citing Unethical Practice
Health specialists that multiple benefits are obtained with the serious consideration of serious stem cell research in detail. However, not all research studies involve the creation of embryos. There are certain instances during which the research is confined to stem cells of a person alone to determine whether they could be considered as a better replacement for the current ones. Global authorities belonging to various organizations have sought better alternatives instead of embryo creation and destruction. Several aspects are considered in this regard such as adult stem cells instead of embryonic stem cells.
People advocating towards better life standards are of the opinion that there is no entity can deny the right to live. Hence, the process of conducting research by creating embryos has to be annulled immediately. The claims have been on the rise that there have been no significant proofs that a person could be better protected by making use of embryonic stem cells. Successful treatment could be offered in a perfect manner if only advanced research is made regarding adult stem cells. They are of the staunch belief that the results obtained in this regard too have been effective so far.
Stem Cell Controversy from Religious Perspectives
With people from different backgrounds have already been stepping up their furor, the likes of religious organizations too have been unrelenting. Some even clearly stated that the entire research through creating embryos must be banned completely. The views from Bible too have depicted clearly that the human lives are created with the image of God considered in the first place. In view of such high level feelings, it is utterly immoral to resort such illegal processes. Other organizations too are of the opinion that such a research should never be given way because embryos in any stage anticipate reverence.
Respecting one’s own right to live, there should be no scope given for such researches in the first place. If the embryonic cells have to be procured, then destroying the concerned embryo is unavoidable. Citing this very reason to be most objectionable, there are numerous people and organizations voicing against such research. All these baffling developments have even started rift among scientific groups with most of them conflicting over future clinical trials. Meanwhile, the process of cloning embryonic stem cells has already started taking a firms shape after adult stem cells were used for this process. More research is necessary in this regard to get a clear idea about future requirements without leading to anymore stem cell controversy.