What if magic seeds existed? A seed that could grow to become any type of plant you wanted depending on where it was planted. Dr. David Vallance compares stem cells to the “magic seed” in his article, “A Biblical Perspective: Stem Cell Research” (Vallance). The Mayo Clinic describes stem cells as the “body’s raw materials – cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated” (Mayo Clinic). The stem cell is further broken down to embryonic and adult stem cells. According to the Mayo Clinic’s web page the embryonic stem cells are harvested from embryos that are about four to five days old. These cells have the best chance to regenerate or repair diseased tissue and human organs. Adult stem cells are found in adult tissues such as bone marrow and can also be found in children and placentas. The adult stem cell is not considered to be as versatile as the embryonic stem cells but recent research is promising new findings. In his article Dr. Vallance says that stem cells can be used to repair many different types of organs including the heart and the brain. They are currently used to replace lost and damaged cells in bone marrow after chemo and radiation for the treatment of cancer. With so many positive uses of stem cells, opposition would seem unlikely. However, the ethics debate on stem cell research has become very heated when the medical community, the religious community, and public opinion come into play.
The medical community which has the most to gain has a very positive outlook on stem cell research. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says:
If looked at from a strictly consequentialist perspective, it’s almost certainly the case that the potential health benefits from the research outweighs the loss of embryos involved and whatever suffering from that loss for persons who want to protect embryos (Siegel).
With this outlook at using embryos at free will without regard to other opinions raises... [continues]
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