Thereexists a misconception that people using stem cell engage in murder.However, research has proved that the use of stem cell is not murderand people are bound to benefit from its use. Stem cells present aclass of mother cells which are in undifferentiated form but have thecapability to differentiate into specialized cell types (Peter).Ideally, stem cells generate from embryonic stem cells, which areembryos created during the blastocyst embryo development phase andadult stem cells which are found inside different types of tissues inthe body. The stem cells are important to living organisms forvarious reasons such as the creation of important body cells andtreatment of diseases. This paper seeks to elaborate that use of stemcells is not murder but has various benefits to people.
Astem cell consists of undifferentiated biological cells which throughthe process of mitosis can differentiate to form more stem cells.They exist in multicellular organisms and mammals under the broadcategories of embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Theembryonic cells occur in isolation in the blastocyst inner mass bodycells while the adult cells are found in various tissues of the body(Nakaya, 52). The adult cells are in existence throughout the body ofa human being after full embryonic development takes place and existinside various body tissues. These cells exist in tissues such as thebrain, blood vessels, blood, bone marrow, skeletal muscles, liver,and the skin (Kington). They have the capability of remaining in aninactive state over a long period of time up to such a time when atissue damage or injury activates them.
Embryonicstem cells on the other hand are stem cells obtained from a five dayold human embryo which is in its developmental blastocyst phase.These embryos are usually the excesses of those created in vitrofertilization clinics with several eggs being fertilized but only onebeing used for implantation in the woman’s body. The cells are alsocreated in sexual reproduction whereby after fertilization results inthe formation of a zygote, a series of divisions takes place formingvarious cells. In five days, this division results in a mass of cellsreferred to as blastocyst which consists of inner and outer cellmass. The outer cells form the placenta with the inner cellsdifferentiating to result in the structures of a human being.
Variouspeople dispute the use of stem cells, especial the embryonic stemcells. Various moral and ethical questions have been raised on theresearch of stem cells. People believe that the extraction ofembryonic stem cells results into termination of an innocent life.This is because the extraction of the embryonic stem cells requiresthe destruction of a human blastocyst (Singer, 98). This means thatthe fertilized egg was not given an opportunity to develop into afull human being and is thus treated as murder by most people. Theyclaim that life begins at conception and the embryo deserves to begiven an opportunity to develop fully into a human being thusrefuting the use of stem cells.
Iam in support of stem cell research because of the many benefits ithas to human beings. Stem cells help cure various diseases such asdiabetes, heart failure, heart diseases, brain diseases, and celldeficiency treatment (Peter). Researchers from Massachusetts GeneralHospital reported an achievement in the creation of blood vessels bythe use of human stem cells. Vascular precursor cells obtained fromadults with diabetes and another group of healthy ones were implantedon mice brains. Two weeks after the implant of the stem cells, testsshowed that the new blood cells were similar to the natural ones. Itwas concluded that the use of stem cells in the repair orregeneration of blood vessels is critical in the treatment ofcardiovascular and vascular diseases (Zhao et al, 213). Replacementtissues and cells are also critical in the treatment of braindiseases. For instance, the Parkinson’s brain disease is curable byreplenishment of damaged tissues which brings back the specializedbrain cells useful in movement of the unnecessary muscles (Kington).The embryonic cells have been tried to differentiate into such cellshence providing treatment for the disease. Stem cells existing inhuman bodies help treat various blood diseases.
Thereexists great need for tissue and organ regeneration. At the moment,organs must be donated or transplanted in case a need arises. Thedemand for organs is however exceeding the supply for the sameorgans. The use of stem cells becomes important in this case becausethe cells can be used to differentiate in to a certain organ as longas it the cells are direct to differentiate in a particular manner.For instance, stem cells found beneath the skin can be useful in theproduction of new skin tissue for use on implanting burns and firevictims.
Thereexists controversy on the use of the stem cells with religious bodiesopposing the use of stem cells. Most of these bodies believe thatabortion is murder and equate it to the extraction of stem cells fromthe human embryo. The Catholics for instance oppose the extraction ofembryonic cells on the basis that it results in the killing of humancreatures and is not unacceptable despite that it is carried out tohelp other people. The Pentecostals on the other hand oppose theembryonic stem cells research because it promotes abortion and shouldnot be allowed. The Methodists also oppose the use of embryonic stemcells on the basis that despite the stage of human life, it should berespected.
Thereis a contradiction in the understanding of abortion and miscarriage.Although both cases revolve around the termination of a pregnancybefore its maturity, abortion is regarded as a murder case unlikemiscarriage. The destruction of the blastocyst for the purpose of theextraction of the embryonic stem cells is similar to abortion whichis observed to be a murder of an innocent life.
Ina recap, many people regard the use of stem cells as a murder case.However, this is only a misconception because the use of stem cellswill benefit human beings in various ways. Research on the use ofstem cells is thus critical in bid to understand their use and how toget them. However, there are concerns raised on the use of stem cellsand thus people oppose its use. Because of the various benefits ofthe use of stem cells, I support its research. Religious bodies arein the front line in the refutation of the use of stem cells,especially embryonic stem cells, because it results to thetermination of an innocent life. It is contradictory that accordingto many people abortion is murder while miscarriage is not despitethe fact that they both result in the termination of a pregnancy.
Kington,Raynard. “Stem cell information.” Nationalinstitute of health. 2009.Print
Kingtonprovided a wide range of information on the article about stem cells,their use, and the controversy surrounding the use.
Nakaya,Andrea. Biomedicalethics. SanDiego, California: Reference Point Press. 2011. Print
Inhis book, Nakaya brings out an understanding on the controversy aboutthe use of embryonic stem cells in reference to the medical ethics.
Peter,Crosta. “Understanding stem cells.”MNT knowledge center. July19, 2013. Print
Peterelaborates on the use of stem cells by discussing stem cells andtheir use.
Singer,Peter. Rethinkinglife and death: the collapse of traditional ethics. NewYork: St. Martin’s Press. 1996. Print
Singerexplains the consequences of the use of stem cells on human life.
Zhao,Ben. Et al. “New type of human blood stem cell: A double edgedsword for the treatment of type 1 diabetes” Translationalresearch. 155.5.(2010): 211-216. Print
Zhaoand his colleagues presented a study on the importance of stem cellsin the treatment of diabetes.