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Paper Topic:

Stem Cell Research Debate

Stem Cell Research Debate





Stem Cell Research Debate



The Scientific Background of Stem Cell Research Debate

What is stem cell its sources current research potential therapies

The Ethical Issues in Stem Cell Research

Central ethical issues underlying the main debates over stem cell research and therapy

Positive and negative consequences Current policies

Destructive Use of Embryos and Fetuses

To destroy an embryo or fetus is morally wrong , because of the inherent value of the embryo or fetus p

Abortion issue Complicity and its counter argument


Even if the anti-destruction position can be successfully defeated there remain serious , distinct , ethical issues to be addressed in the stem cell debate



This has two main purposes . The first is to provide an overview of the central ethical issues underlying the main debates over stem cell research and therapy . In so doing I will present and critically assess arguments used to support moral positions . The main debates I discuss are over the source of the stem cells for research and therapy . I will focus particularly on the arguments that deny support for stem cell research on the basis that the embryos have intrinsic moral value and thus should not be destroyed for research purposes . Because the aims to be more or less comprehensive , the presentation and analysis of each individual argument will be brief

The second purpose is to present what is regarded in the literature as the most pressing moral concern over the sources of stem cells , namely those coming from destroyed embryos and fetal tissue from elective abortions . I hope to convince the reader that the reason for the great concern over embryo destruction for stem cells is due to its perceived similarity to the abortion debate . This view is mirrored in the concerns over the use of fetal material from elective abortions as sources of stem cells . The important message from this is that there is similar argumentation in the abortion debate and the stem cell research and therapy debate

The Scientific Background of Stem Cell Research Debate

Every somatic (body ) cell possesses the full genetic code that makes up an individual organism and , as organisms grow , somatic cells specialize or "differentiate " This means that they shut down other parts of the DNA except for the genetic material relevant to some specific function In other words , cells lose 'memory ' of how to function as or become some tissues and become capable of fulfilling only one function (Weir , 2004 For example , somatic cells that make up the heart will function only as heart cells even though they contain the DNA for every other tissue in the organism . The precursor cells to any differentiated cells , the blank cells , are referred to as "stem cells " or , hSC , where "H " designates human . Stem cells can produce at least one type of specialized tissue and they are self-renewing . They are the biological building blocks of the human organism (Harris , 1998

Stem cell research is...

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