AP English 3, Period 3
15 November 2012
Stem Cell Research: Medical Advantages
Greatly debated, stem cell research is very controversial; especially embryonic stem cell research. Many debate over the ethics of the research versus the medical advantages. The medical advantages outweigh the ethical views. The mass of embryonic stem cells that are used come for in vitro fertilization (IVF) (Black). Those cells are disposed as medical waste—using them for research gives those cells a purpose and to be wasted (16). Embryonic stem cells can regenerate into nerve cells which can solve brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s (48). Stem cells allow testing of potential drugs without using a human or animal. This rids the ethics of animal testing and human clinical trials (Benefits of Stem Cells). “Stem cells are the human body’s building blocks” (Black). Stem cells are what “transform from a fertilized egg to a” baby (10). “In adults, they “replace damaged or worn-out cells” with new ones (10). The stem cells used for research are embryonic cells. “Embryonic stem cells are cells that occur at the earliest stages of human and animal development” (16). The use of the embryonic cells has cause great controversy; especially in the United States. In 2001, President Bush had enforced the rule that only sixty stem lines created before August 9, 2001, could be used in stem cell research and that it would be funded by federal money (Black). This allowed stem cells to be derived from embryonic cells from in vitro fertilization and to be used in the research (19). The hype for stem cell research didn’t start until Christopher Reeve had experienced a traumatic injury that harmed his spinal cord (8). He created the Christopher Reeve foundation that helped fund research for spinal cord injury. Reeve’s main support was for stem cell research with embryonic cells. The son of President Ronald Reagan, Ronald Prescott Reagan, also supported stem...