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Obama Reverses Ban on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

March 9, 2009 1 comment

I will preface this opinion piece by saying I am NOT a scientist.  I don’t claim to have all of the information on stem cell research memorized.  However, I do grasp the basic principles.  Here is a quick definition pulled from the government’s website http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/basics3.asp.

Embryonic stem cells, as their name suggests, are derived from embryos. Specifically, embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro—in an in vitro fertilization clinic—and then donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors. They are not derived from eggs fertilized in a woman’s body. The embryos from which human embryonic stem cells are derived are typically four or five days old and are a hollow microscopic ball of cells called the blastocyst. The blastocyst includes three structures: the trophoblast, which is the layer of cells that surrounds the blastocyst; the blastocoel, which is the hollow cavity inside the blastocyst; and the inner cell mass, which is a group of approximately 30 cells at one end of the blastocoel.”

I believe that President Obama’s reversal of the embryonic stem cell research ban is wrong, and here’s why.

Destroying a fertilized embryo to create stem cells, and use them for research, is unethical, just like destroying an embryo while trying to clone would be.  They are destroying life, or at the very LEAST, the first stages of what leads to life. If cloning is wrong, why isn’t embryonic stem cell research.  The ultimate conclusion of embryonic stem cell research would be to grow a complete human, allowing all organs to be harvested, negating the need for organ donors.  Or would they only grow lungs, arms, skin, etc from these stem cells.

I’m a little miffed about the fact that as promising as adult stem cell research has been, that the administration feels the need to allow such a controversial procedure to be done, in light of the gains that have been made in using non-embryonic cells.  Who knows, in another 4 years, perhaps existing, and ethical, stem cell research would have gotten to the point that using embryos wouldn’t be necessary.

Thoughts?

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