Controversy Over Stem Cell Research Essay

So, it satisfies the first principle to a very great degree.

On the other hand, there is a case to be made that the harvesting of human embryonic stem cells violates the second principle in that it results in the destruction of human life with value (i.e. Accordingly, both principles apparently cannot simultaneously be respected in the case of embryonic stem cell research.

With due regard to that, the following discussion provides a brief overview of some of the core ethical issues arising from the Research Involving Embryos Bill 2002 and to some extent the Prohibition of Human Cloning Bill 2002.

The public debate has focused mostly on ethical problems associated with the destruction of embryos (in the case of the first Bill), and with the creation of cloned human embryos (in the case of the second Bill).

This description would be warranted by virtue of the biological uniqueness of these cells alonetheir ability to self-renew infinitely while retaining a remarkable capacity to differentiate into any form of cell tissue.

But as well as this, the culturing of embryonic stem cells holds tremendous potential for the development of new forms of regenerative medicine to treat debilitating or fatal conditions that would not otherwise be curable.Of course, in their more fully expanded form these distinctions and arguments will involve subtleties and complexities that are beyond the limited scope of this paper to address.Nonetheless, the discussion here will hopefully give an impression of where some of those further complexities and subtleties might lie.Crude as it may sound, responding to this problem calls for a moral calculationa decision about how the positive value of destructive embryo research is to be weighted, from a moral point of view, in comparison to the negative value (or disvalue) of destroying embryos.Whatever way that calculation is done, it is important to get a clear idea of what moral weight each side of the equation has.It is the nature of scientific discoveries and progress, that they are not easily predicted.Both advances and impediments to advancement can arise unexpectedly.Or should we give more weight to the second, and prohibit destructive embryonic research because it violates respect for the value of the embryo as the very beginnings of a possible human life?This, at bottom, is the ethical problem generated by destructive embryo research.A sound evaluation of stem cell research needs to take account of the likelihood of achieving its beneficial outcomes.In matters of science, and particularly, in areas that are newly developing and comparatively uncharted (such as embryonic stem cell research), it is sometimes difficult to settle on those probabilities with complete confidence.


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