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Dilemmas surrounding Embryonic Stem Cell Research

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  1. Introduction
  2. Embryonic stem cell research: An overview
  3. Adult stem cell research
  4. Embryonic stem cell research
  5. Embryonic stem cell research: The controversy
  6. Embryonic stem cells and human cloning
  7. Embryonic stem cells and the life of the embryo
  8. Logic and personal opinion
  9. Conclusion
  10. References

Over the course of the last three decades, scientists have made many notable advances in medicine and technology. While many of these advances have been viewed as a boon for the development of society, some have brought with them precarious ethical and moral questions that have promulgated considerable public debate. For this reason, some of the advancements made in recent years have been viewed as doubled-edged sword. Such is the case with embryonic stem cell research.
With the realization that embryonic stem cell research poses such unique possibilities and ethical problems, there is a clear impetus to examine this issue and explore both the advantages and disadvantages of this technology. To this end, this investigation considers a broad overview of embryonic stem cell research, the pros and cons of using such technology and the ethical implications of research using these cells. Further, this investigation lays out a personal argument which provides a clear rationale for justifying the use of embryonic stem cell research.

[...] Logic and Personal Opinion As the debate on embryonic stem cell research now stands, it is evident that policymakers have stepped outside of logic and legal precedent in their decision to ban embryonic stem cell research. Based on what is currently known about the embryo and current practices used in the context of abortion and in vitro fertilization, the policies enacted with respect to this research simply do not make sense. When the Roe v. Wade decision was made by the Supreme Court, the Justices of the Court had to realize that, based on scientific evidence two conditions could be maintained. [...]

[...] As such, both types of stem cell research need to be examined in order to provide a clear understanding for the controversy. Adult Stem Cell Research Looking first at stem cell research which seeks to harvest stem cells from the fully developed human being, Brownlee (2005) reports that in recent years scientists have discovered that stem cells are present in various areas of the body. Defining the stem cell, Brownlee goes on to note that stem cells are those that have not differentiated. [...]

[...] King (2003) notes that the process of embryonic stem cell research offers the possibility of duplicating a cell exactly. Under these circumstances a human clone could potentially be created. While the possibility of creating a human clone appears to be the pinnacle of biomedical research, the reality is that it carries with it a host of potential problems and complications. In order to illustrate this point, opponents of embryonic stem cell research that may eventually lead to cloning have noted the case of Dolly the sheep, the first cloned animal. [...]

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