Bioethics in Scientific Research and
29 November 2014
Bioethics In Scientific Research and Technology
In the field of science, bioethics is a very important subject. Before any experiment or research, scientists must ask themselves if what they are doing is morally correct. The word bioethics is defined as moral principles that govern medical and biological research. The study of the ways in which decisions in medicine and science touch upon our health and lives and upon our society and environment are all part of bioethics. Throughout this essay, the topics of stem cells and genetic testing on humans will be addressed, along with all the bioethical issues they encompass. Stem cells are cells that have no specific function or purpose. These cells are able to develop into any cell of the body, including skin, brain, muscle, and many other types of cells. There are two types of stem cells produced in our body: embryonic cells that form during embryo development, and adult (somatic) stem cells produced throughout our lives to replace other cells. There are few people who are opposed to adult stem cell research because adult stem cells can be safely extracted from people without risking death. Thus, there are few governmental limitations and laws prohibiting the use of adult stem cells for research purposes. While this type is safe, embryonic stem cells are more versatile and durable but can only be obtained from living human embryos. The extraction and use of these cells can often result in the tragic destruction
of the embryo itself. There are many people who proclaim that since the embryo is a human, it is protected by law and no one has the right to harm it. Scientists and researchers argue that embryos are not fully humans but, rather, a cluster of cells, and that the consequences of losing a few embryos far outweigh the benefits of possible cures to many diseases, such as parkinson's, alzheimer's, heart diseases, birth defects and many more abnormalities. Stem cells work by first being grown in a culture medium, then being inserted into a patient. The injected stem cells can then change into the cell that is in particular need, an example would be bone marrow transplants, which result in the stem cells being transformed into the different types of cells present in blood. Stem cells are a safe way to lessen the damage done by disorders or abnormalities. Many people, including scientists and researchers, approve of stem cells and think that stem cell research should continue because of the potential it could hold for all sorts of major breakthroughs. If research is not being made into the uses of stem cells, there are a number of opportunities that are being missed, such as creating cures and advanced treatments of various abnormalities that would usually be impossible to stop, even with modern medicine. Stem cells can even be used to create whole or parts of organs that can them be transplanted to replace a damaged or otherwise nonfunctional organ. With enough research, stem cells may be able to recreate whole body parts that can be stitched onto people who have had unfortunate accidents in which they have lost limbs. As the benefits of the use and research of stem cells are understood, the importance of gathering support for them is evident. The only issue that prevents complete support of stem cell research is the question of where they originate from. Since abortion is legal in
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