Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
There has been great advancement in the stem cell research. This has been contributed to the development in technology where scientists have been in a position to take advanced stem cell research with the assistance of sophisticated tool and methodologies. The advancement has also been brought about by the positive attitude that people have developed in this field. There has been a more positive look at this practice from scientists, government and also by other agents involved. This paper will look at how the advances of the practice have increased its positive perception by the public and the factors contributing to this.
The National Institutes of health released new guidelines on how the human embryonic research is supposed to be carried out. These guidelines followed the speech that Barrack Obama made in March 2009 where he lifted the restrictions that were there on the federal support for researches conducted by the use of embryonic stem cells. This was great advance as the former Bush administration had banned the funding of human embryonic research. This had limited the capacity of scientists to carry out the researches as this had made them to only be in a position to use only twenty one approved cells out of the seven hundred approved cells that are available. (Andrea 2002).The directive also made it possible for the establishment of guidelines on human embryonic research whereby NIH funding would also be provided to human embryonic research which is derived from the embryos of human which is created using vitro fertilization with the intention for the purposes of reproduction which were no longer needed for the purpose. The individuals were informed on this embryo treatment which enabled them to give their written agreement to use the embryos for research purposes.The guidelines also makes it illegal tom have any inducement in finance for donations of the embryo. The guidelines also made it clear that all the researches that were funded by NIH should be separate from the ones that are funded by private bodies. The NIH is to establish a group consisting of ethicists and working groups who would be responsible for the review of the cell lines which exists. They are also to make the determination of which human embryo researches should be funded and also which ones have the eligibility to be funded by the federal funds in online registries.
This directive from the president made the research potential to be expanded in the field. The president in his speech noted out that there may be many promises in the research of the stem cell which is not yet known and there fore there was need for the enhancement of conducting these researches to try to make new discoveries.The only challenge that these guideline are facing for their implementations is on the slow pace of the working group of the NIH.It is noted that by September 2009 the files of the NIH working groups were empty. This is a challenge because unless the group determines the cell lines which have the eligibility to be funded by the federal funding no research can take place. The slow pace by which the NIH is taking in implementing its mandate has a negative effect to the industry as it is slowing the efforts in the building of collaboration with other bodies which work on stem cell research. This is also hindering the development of innovations in the stem cell research. The other challenge being faced is the fact that there is no timeline which has been set for entering the new stem line cells in the registry.There have been suggestions that the government should have a focus on building collaboration with all the bodies that are concerned with stem cells. This can be done by giving the necessary support in the formation of geographic innovation hubs. The bodies may include research institutes, industries, universities etc.This would enhance the in making progress in the field of medicine. According to Jonathan Moreno who is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, the challenge that might arise is the development of human trials that are safe. He holds that the advocates of the stem cell should perform the clinical trials with a lot of caution because human tries which have tragic results would make the public to have a negative attitude towards their support for stem cell research.Those who advocate for the stem cell research are optimistic that the current administration policy who gives the scientist an opportunity to be the masterminds in the technology of stem cell science and its technology.
There is an opportunity for more research to become eligible for the funding provided by the federal government hence increasing lines for research of embryos which have a wide range of genetics. (Judith and Erin2005)There is also hope that the pace of the research will increase due to the collaboration of the scientists which will indeed do away with the delays which has been caused by the previous requirements which requires there to be dedicated stem cell research personnel ,equipments etc. There is need to enhance the stem cell research to produce positive results which would reduce tension that surrounds this debate. This would make the research to grow. (John, Linda and John 2005).It is morally permissible to undertake the embryonic stem cell research despite the fact that the embryos deserve respect. The embryos cannot be equated to human beings. According to Jonathan D Moreno this is a morally right practice as the embryos moral status is more les than that of human beings. The advocates for this researches hold that they usually consider all the ethical practices in carrying out the research. There is the pluralistic approach which holds that its not just only right to focus on single features in the determination of whether embryos are morally equivalent to full persons .This approach that through the development of human life, it follows a process by which it adds the human moral worth. In this process it adds its moral worth, respect and develops its rights. The approach argues that it does not make sense to put a collection of human cells in a dish and equate it to a full developed human being or may be give it a character of personhood. (Suzanne, Karen and Laurie 2001).There is also consensus among the scientific bodies, philosophers, and theologians in support of stem cell research that is usually regulated.
This regulated research is based on a lesser moral status of the embryo. According to the national bioethics advisory commission there is an agreement which ahs been reached by people who hold different perspectives that despite the fact that the embryos need respect as fully developed human beings this does not mean that the stem cell research should be forfeited. (Brian 2003).There is an agreement between American association for the advancement of science and the national academy of science which holds that the stem cell research cannot be banned or restricted due to the respect of embryo as human. This is because even those who oppose the use of the embryo for the research do not justify the fact that the moral status of the embryo makes it illegal to conduct research on it.According to the polls that were conducted on this issue, it shows that almost 57% to 67% of the people support these researches. There is also another research that was carried out by Genetics and public policy centre which showed that 67% of the respondents are for this research. In the same study 30% of the people stated that they do not think that the embryo has any moral status. It was also found that one those who accorded the embryos very high moral status one third of them still support the human embryonic stem cell research. (Robert and Christopher 2008).There is also a show of respect to the embryos and that is the reason why people need it conducted in a more careful way and also under regulations and oversights.
The research is also justified if it brings positive results.The ethics of the stem cell research will change according to changes in technology, the attitude of the people and also according to the development of the scientific knowledge. The best way that ethics can move along with these developments is to be more transparent and also involve the public on the policies and practices of embryonic stem cell research. (Suzanne, Karen and Laurie 2001).There are great expectations that those who oppose human embryonic stem cell researches will be in a position to understand the concept in a more scientific view. They should also focus on the results that these researches will bring in the field of medicine.There are also opponents of embryonic who argue that supporters of this research do not consider issues of morality as they only concentrate on scientific technicalities at the expense to morality but also support the practice if it is intended for good results.There has been great need for the for the passing of stem cell research act which would make it possible for the development of the embryonic stem cell research without any interference by country politics. There has been major strides in the research since president Bush signed the stem cell research enhancement act in 2006.The biggest problem that has been experienced is that the politically things have not changed. There is limitation of the stem cell research which is funded by the federal government. There are also fewer stem cell lines in the country as compared to other countries that have modern and also have a variety of stem cells. (Brian 2003).
There should also be a more comprehensive support in human embryonic stem research which would enhance advance in the overall field of science. There has been a tendency by the politicians to bring out debate of the embryonic versus the adult stem cells. In science the two are not taken as different entities rather they are taken as different tools in the field of medicine. They help in using the cells to cure diseases, drug development and also in human development. In scientific researches there is the understanding that the use of different types of cells is of great importance for different purposes. There may be diseases which may require treatment by the use of adult or the stem cells of the umbilical cords while at the same time some other diseases may require treatment through the use of the stem cells of the embryo. Hindering any of the above stem cell i.e. either adult stem cell or the embryo stem cell would result slowing of the research in many other areas. (Michael 2006)There has also been promising news that there has been discovery of stem cells in the amniotic fluid. These cells can be obtained through the use of amniocentesis or either from the placenta. They can also give a genetic match for the new born child hence making the reducing chances of tissue rejection.
Embryonic Stem Research is Valuable
There has been a declaration by scientist who have been conducting research that they would not replace the embryonic stem cell because it is still valuable. The new stem cells are capable of generating large number of cell types which are important .However they are not in a position to perform many functions as the embryonic stem cells. This is because the embryonic stem cells can become any cell type. In all the stem cells the embryonic stem cells are the most promising .The embryonic cells have also been used in animals in the treatment of paralysis and also have the capacity to reduce signs of Parkinson disease. (Robert and Christopher 2008).Cardiovascular precursors cells have been developed by the use of embryonic cells. These cardiovascular cells are capable of treating a variety of heart diseases.In conclusion the embryonic stem cells are the most important type of the stem cells due to their capacity to differentiate in the human body to become any cell. The advances that have been made in the embryonic stem cell research together with the discovery of new sources of the stem cells makes it clear the potentiality of this research which is a life saving one. There has been tremendous support from the American people for these researches. (Cynthia 2007).
As will be seen from the above there has been great improvement in the human embryonic stem research. The positive attitude that the various agencies have taken toward this practice has contributed to this. What is needed as per now is to try to bring the results to the knowledge of the public. This will help to create a more positive attitude even to those people who are against the practice. On the other hand its also good for the scientist to carry out the stem researches in more humane manner so that it does not appear that they do show lack of ethical values in their practice. On the other hand the government should come up with policies that will facilitate the growth and the development of the research. It should increase its funding to research institutes and other concerned bodies so as to help the quality of the results. There should also be measures to control how these researches are done to prevent misuse of the resources and the embryos.
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