Stem cell research is the study of stem cell renewal or regeneration and how cultured stem cells can be used in medical treatments, organ transplants and in finding cures for various life threatening and chronic as well as incurable diseases. Stem cell research is still in an evolutionary phase and yet it has generated quite contrarian views. There are many who predict that stem cell research would be as big a leap as vaccines or surgery. There are many who don’t endorse that view. Here are some of the pros and cons of stem cell research.
Pros of Stem Cell Research
1. A Class of Its Own
There has been a lot of confusion about cloning and stem cell research because the latter is also correlated with therapeutic cloning. Stem cell research cannot be considered the same because the cells and the subsequent cloning that happens after the culturing are not humans. Stem cells are not fully formed, physically or psychologically, to be anything remotely close as humans.
2. It Is Not a Fetus
Unlike culturing adult cells or eggs, stem cell research involves obtaining embryos at a time when the central nervous system is not formed. Hence, there is no scientific data that can surely infer the embryo would be developing into a fetus.
3. Can Save Millions of Lives
The potential impact of stem cell research is life altering and life saving. Millions of people can get cured of a plethora of health conditions.
4. Can Cure Damaged Organs
Stem cell research can cure damaged organs, facilitate organ transplants, help cellular regeneration in the human body, can make use of unused embryos that would anyway be wasted and the medical fraternity can take some giant leaps, just as it happened after the first test tube baby was born.
Cons of Stem Cell Research
1. Aren’t Segregated from Humans
Critics of stem cell research have opposed to the practice of extracting embryos because they don’t segregate them from humans. The possibility of embryos developing into fetuses convince the critics that the treatment meted out to those cells is akin to treating humans through the culturing process.
2. Immoral to Many
Stem cell research does involve discarding the cells that have been cultured and have not been found to be particularly useful or of interest. This is deemed as morally or ethically wrong.
3. Capabilities Not Fully Recognized
The practical utility or applicative scope of stem cell research is not yet fully understood.
Stem cell research is very expensive and takes away a chunk of the taxes that people pay. The money, according to many, can be better used for more pressing concerns at hand.