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What Is the Stem Cell Debate?

The stem cell debate centers around religious, political, scientific and ethical controversial opinions and research. The research and extraction of stem cells is controversial despite the obvious end benefits. Scientific research has shown that stem cells can repair damaged human body parts and cure certain fatal diseases such as cancers, Parkinson’s disease and also paralyzing spinal injuries. Stem cells can repair and renew themselves. They can develop and divide into new cells.

There are three types of stem cells: adult, embryonic and embryonic fetal. The first two are the most popular in research. The debate begins around where the stem cells are extracted. Because of their scarcity and people’s wariness to donate stem cells from umbilical cords, some are extracted from artificially produced human embryos. This sparks a debate based on the ethics and morality of such a practice. Embryonic stem cells are extracted from potential human lives, which should be protected morally and religiously. A potential new life is used to sustain the life of another. Do you let the new life live but the let the older life die? Or vice versa?

Governments’ role in this is also a cause of concern and controversy. Stem cell research is costly and pushes the moral and scientific boundaries. Some people believe governments should not support stem cell research because it is research that destroys human life, against the government’s mandate to protect its people. Government’s involvement however, has also increased control of research facilities, holding them within certain pertinent moral boundaries. If they do not comply, government can close them down.

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