Stem Cells and the Future of Developmental Medicine Stem cells have a remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. Stem cells undergo processes to form new types of cells which can have a specialized function. According to this function, lives could be saved by the formation of new tissues and organs. Some of the specialized cells are muscle cells, brain cells or blood cells. Although stem cell research is debatable due to moral concerns, its positive medical benefits exceed the negative social consequences.
Stem cell research is a complex subject that has two main types hich are embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Bongso and Lee explain that there are three methods in which embryonic stem cells can be retrieved. These are from embryos left from fertilization treatments, embryos produced for this function or by moving genetic material from one cell to another. The second two methods are considered to be immoral compared to the first one due to ethical reasons (2005, p. 14).
They also clarify that the cells should be tested to insure “Embryos are of high quality and free from both genetic and infectious diseases” (Bongso & Lee, 2005, p. 1 5). Couples that have extra embryonic cells either donate them to childless couples, research or are get rid of them (Bongso & Lee, 2005, p. 16). Development in stem cell research has shown potential to cure life threatening diseases. Stem cells have helped in liver repair, bone repair, eye repair and much more. The research has proven to find treatment for fatal diseases and it does not elongate life but it improves “The quality of life” (Bongso & Lee, 2005, p. 4). Remedies using stem cells produce specialized cells which will be used to treat different illnesses like “diabetes, ultiple sclerosis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease and autoimmune diseases” (Wetzstein, 2013, Para. 4). Wetzstein stated that, “Pro-life and Catholic groups denounced the process because it destroys the embryos, but scientists said such research can be carried out ethically, especially when the benefits are so promising” (2013, Para. 5). Due to ethical reasons, some people believe stem cell research is morally wrong.
According to Bongso and Lee, “Sometimes careless descriptions of stem cells have been adapted due to ignorance”. Ethicists only talk about one side of the stem cell research which is the source without considering or giving credit to the medical breakthroughs that could to have the same results as embryonic stem cells. In this case it is considered wrong as they are not even close (Bongso &Lee, 2005, p. 189). The constant ethical debate has slowed down the progress and growth of the stem cell research. A solution should be found in order to stop this debate and actually start working on this research which would save many people.
There are many useful things that could appen through the use of stem cells, but how can we stop the conflict? If we look at the solutions that could result from the usage of stem cells, then we can resolve the moral and social issues. Resources Bongso, A. , & Lee, E. H. (Eds. ). (2005). Stem cells : From bench to bedside. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Wetzstein, Kansas for top study of stem cells; No embryo use at proposed center. The Washington Times. Retrieved from http:// elibrary. bigchalk. com. ezp-01 . lirn. net/elibweb/elib/do/document? set=search&groupid=l ib;document;215040801 &style=printable&edition=&start=l &language=