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Human Embryo Research is Illegal, Immoral, and Unnecessary

Stem cell research is the future.

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Second, a new study of problems in cloning suggests that embryonic stem cells are "surprisingly genetically unstable" in mice and perhaps in humans as well. This "may complicate efforts to turn the cells into cures," and interfere with efforts to produce all-purpose cell lines that could reliably become tissue of any desired type.

John Gearhart of Johns Hopkins University now says. Establishing hundreds of these cell lines could require destroying many thousands of human embryos, and replenishing them with thousands more when the original cell lines become too unstable for further use.

Perhaps most troubling is the news that these researchers deleted from their final paper a reference to this problem, believing that any public acknowledgment of such setbacks has become too "politically sensitive. We have reached a stage in this discussion where, on the side supporting destructive embryo research, science is becoming subservient to politics.

Third, the chief advantage universally cited for embryonic stem cells -- their ability to grow and differentiate into all the more than kinds of cells and tissues in the human body -- is proving to be a major disadvantage for transplantation into living bodies.

For it is very difficult to make these cells stop turning into all kinds of cells and tissues. In recent studies, embryonic stem cells or partially differentiated cells arising from them "stayed in a disorganized cluster, and brain cells near them began to die.

The emerging truth in the lab is that pluripotent stem cells are hard to rein in. The potential that they would explode into a cancerous mass after a stem cell transplant might turn out to be the Pandora's box of stem cell research.

By contrast, though non-embryonic stem cells seem harder to direct to form tissues of different categories, they seem much more docile to their environment.

Upon reaching a particular kind of tissue, they receive signals as to the kind of tissue needed and produce only that tissue. They may be "easier to manage," and therefore far safer for clinical use in humans, than embryonic cells.

Understanding and stimulating this natural ability may be a far more promising avenue than efforts to harness and control cells that simply do not belong in an adult body in the first place -- cells with a tendency to form tumors, in an apparent effort to turn back into a complete embryo. The kind of exaggerated claims now made for embryonic stem cells have been seen in this Congress before. A decade ago it was fetal tissue from abortions that was hailed as the magic bullet that might cure diabetes, Parkinson's disease and many other conditions in a few years if only federal funds were provided.

By the time such funds were approved in , however, it was already becoming clear that fetal tissue from abortions would be largely useless in treating diabetes.

Millions of taxpayers' dollars were diverted toward fetal tissue transplant trials for Parkinson's disease — and the final results were not only disappointing but "devastating," according to the New York Times. Will embryonic stem cells prove to be equally disappointing or even disastrous? However, a tragic occurrence following one particular fetal tissue transplant for Parkinson's disease should give us pause.

Some of the tissue placed in this man's brain may have been from an earlier gestational age than is customary in American clinical trials — that is, it may have been more embryonic than fetal in nature.

Within two years after the transplant this man died mysteriously — and an autopsy revealed that masses of "nonneural tissue" such as skin and hair had filled the ventricles of his brain and cut off his breathing. Researchers theorized that this tissue may have remained "pluripotent" and differentiated uncontrollably to cause the patient's death.

At the very least, past experience argues in favor of greater humility than some researchers and organizations are now showing in their campaign for destructive embryo research.

To quote two bioethicists who do not oppose such research on moral grounds, "much of the hype that surrounded the debate about the clinical value of fetal tissue implants was exactly that — hype. This ought to be kept in mind by those now engaged in the debate over stem cell research.

Finally, recent developments highlight a point made by opponents of embryonic stem cell research for years: Once our consciences are numbed to the moral wrong of using so-called "spare" human embryos for research, our society will move on to even more egregious abuses.

The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Virginia has announced that it is using donated eggs and sperm to create human embryos solely to destroy them for stem cell research. In the past, this further step — that of creating life in the laboratory for the sole purpose of destroying it — was supported by the NIH, but widely condemned even by abortion supporters in Congress and editorial boards across the country.

President Clinton refused funding for this approach, and the Washington Post editorialized:. The creation of human embryos specifically for research that will destroy them is unconscionable Despite this strong consensus against creating embryos to destroy them, those actually involved in embryo research no longer see any serious ethical problem in it.

Some even argue that such research is morally superior to the use of "spare" embryos, because the egg and sperm donors understand from the beginning what the embryos will be used for. Similarly, when ACT testified before this subcommittee in December , it was virtually alone in insisting that success in embryonic stem cell research would require moving on to human cloning to make genetically matched tissues for each patient. However, the nation's leading for-profit group promoting embryonic stem cell research, the Geron Corporation, soon acquired the Roslin Institute in Scotland to combine its own expertise in embryonic stem cell research with Roslin's expertise in cloning.

These groups have engaged in embryo research long enough to deaden all sensitivity to the fact that they are dealing with human life. If the federal government funds even a limited amount of research that relies on destroying human embryos, this deadening of consciences will occur on a wider scale and with government approval.

The Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, which favors federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, has argued that these developments actually show that the Bush Administration should proceed with the funding.

To stop such abuses, goes the argument, the federal government must fund embryo research so it will have the authority to set limits. But the first groups to make this claim were groups that favor destructive embryo research, including groups closely associated with the Jones Institute's abuses. ASRM, which has given the ethical "green light" to the Jones study and published the results in its own journal, is an active member of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research.

So we are being told how to prevent special creation of embryos by the leading groups that favor and even perform it! The argument that one must fund this research to regulate it is also absurd on its merits. The Jones study was done entirely with private funds, because for five years Congress has clearly prohibited funding of all destructive embryo research.

If the federal government begins to fund some destructive research, it will be able to set standards for the research it chooses to fund, but the privately funded Jones study will remain untouched. In fact, such a policy change will signal that the government is moving in the Jones Institute's direction on this issue.

It will soon become apparent that the government must fund research involving special creation of embryos for research -- that is, must fund the very abuse it claims to oppose -- in order to set standards for such research.

Even then, those choosing not to obey such standards will simply conduct that part of their research with private funds -- and encourage the federal government to catch up with their advanced thinking, as it already will have done on the subject of destroying "spare" embryos.

At this point, the Congress intervened and passed the Dickey-Wicker Amendment in the final bill, which included the Dickey Amendment, was signed into law by Bill Clinton which prohibited any federal funding for the Department of Health and Human Services be used for research that resulted in the destruction of an embryo regardless of the source of that embryo.

In , privately funded research led to the breakthrough discovery of human Embryonic stem cells hESC. No federal law ever did ban stem cell research in the United States, but only placed restrictions on funding and use, under Congress's power to spend.

In February , George W. Bush requested a review of the NIH's guidelines, and after a policy discussion within his circle of supporters, implemented a policy in August of that year to limit the number of embryonic stem cell lines that could be used for research.

In April , members of Congress , including many moderate Republicans , signed a letter urging President Bush to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research beyond what Bush had already supported. In May , the House of Representatives voted to loosen the limitations on federally funded embryonic stem-cell research — by allowing government-funded research on surplus frozen embryos from in vitro fertilization clinics to be used for stem cell research with the permission of donors — despite Bush's promise to veto if passed.

Frist R- TN , announced that he too favored loosening restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. The Senate passed the first bill, , which would have made it legal for the Federal government to spend Federal money on embryonic stem cell research that uses embryos left over from in vitro fertilization procedures.

The second bill makes it illegal to create, grow, and abort fetuses for research purposes. The third bill would encourage research that would isolate pluripotent, i. Bush and were not enacted into law. By executive order on March 9, , President Barack Obama removed certain restrictions on federal funding for research involving new lines of human embryonic stem cells.

Federal funding originating from current appropriations to the Department of Health and Human Services including the National Institutes of Health under the Omnibus Appropriations Act of , remains prohibited under the Dickey—Wicker Amendment for 1 the creation of a human embryo for research purposes; or 2 research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero.

Today, with the Executive Order I am about to sign, we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers; doctors and innovators; patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years: We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research. And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield. In , a United States District Court "threw out a lawsuit that challenged the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research.

Specifically, it legalizes the process of cloning a human embryo, and implanting the clone into a womb, provided that the clone is then aborted and used for medical research. Missouri Constitutional Amendment 2 Missouri Amendment Two was a law that legalized certain forms of embryonic stem cell research in the state. However, as of June 6, , there were delays in the implementation of the California program and it is believed that the delays will continue for the significant future.

Several states, in what was initially believed to be a national migration of biotech researchers to California, [15] have shown interest in providing their own funding support of embryonic and adult stem cell research.

Other states have, or have shown interest in, additional restrictions or even complete bans on embryonic stem cell research. Policy stances on stem cell research of various political leaders in the United States have not always been predictable.

As a rule, most Democratic Party leaders and high-profile supporters and even rank and file members have pushed for laws and policies almost exclusively favoring embryonic stem cell research. There have been some Democrats who have asked for boundaries be placed on human embryo use.

For example, Carolyn McCarthy has publicly stated she only supports using human embryos "that would be discarded". The Republicans largely oppose embryonic stem cell research in favor of adult stem cell research which has already produced cures and treatments for cancer and paralysis for example, but there are some high-profile exceptions who offer qualified support for some embryonic stem cell research. Orrin Hatch R-UT , a vocal abortion opponent , call[ed] for limited federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research A few moderates or Libertarians support such research with limits.

Lincoln Chafee supported federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Ron Paul , a Republican congressman, physician , and Libertarian and Independent candidate for President, has sponsored much legislation , and has had quite complex positions.

These Guidelines were prepared to enhance the integrity of human embryonic stem cell research in the public's perception and in actuality by encouraging responsible practices in the conduct of that research. The guidelines preserve two primary principles. First, that hESC research has the potential to improve our understanding of human health and discover new ways to treat illness.

Second, that individuals donating embryos should do so freely, with voluntary and informed consent. The guidelines detail safeguards to protect donating individuals by acquiring informed consent and protecting their identity.

In addition, the guidelines contain multiple sections applying to embryos donated in the US and abroad, both before and after the effective date of the guidelines. Applicants proposing research, may use stem cell lines that are posted on the NIH registry, or may submit an assurance of compliance with section II of the guidelines.

Section II is applicable to stem cells derived from human embryos. Stem cells hold so much potential that we should be offering incentives for companies who do such research to advance medical understanding of our bodies. Nobody thinks having a problem is a big deal until they have experienced it or know someone who has.

I think stem cells are the next step to trying to find many cures for things the human race can find. Stem cells are expensive but if it happens and we can use them and we find cures i think we should ask ourselves is it worth it. Honestly, the entire argument against stem cell research is null and void.

It rests upon the belief that it is immoral, as it involves the destruction of human embryos. However, dissenters fail to recognize that the embryos used originate in fertility clinics, where far more embryos are produced than are needed in order to boost the chances of conception. If the embryos are not used for stem cell research, they are simply burned or disposed of it's legal to flush them down the sink.

It's obvious that it's morally right to help individuals in need of it, when the embryos will be destroyed either way. The Democratic National Convention set the stage for Obama's re-election campaign. Obama set a familiar, if slightly less aggressive, tone for his second attempt to capture the American public's confidence and loyalty.

Obama did a good job a setting his issues up and sticking to his guns from that point on. There is no reason to ban stem cell research. It has the potential to open up huge discoveries in the medical field and does not necessarily require the harm or death in any form.

Stem cell based technologies have too much potential to be banned over some out of date fears. My first point would be to point out, as my title suggests, that human embryos are already in massive proportions. The only thing is that we are not allowed to research the stem cell. The stem cell is technically the origin cell of which serves as the figurative 'direction booklet' for the construction of organs and tissues. Stem cells have been shown to reverse paralysis in quadriplegics and furthermore have been used to recreate organic tissue like hearts and the like.

Those in opposition to this likely will claim that researching stem cell research will kill a fertilized egg, but my key point refutes this since whatever embryos are not utilized will be terminated. My contention would be that stem cell research not only be legalized but also supported. The stem cell cannot feel pain since it has no neural system nor does it contain chemicals to process emotion. Furthermore, with every day that stem cell research is being kept under, more and more people are left in misery due to genetic abnormalities and prenatal deficiencies that are simply beyond their control.

Stem cell research needs to be legalized and supported. Would you let a child die to save the rights of an unborn baby? There are other ways to get stem cells. Not all stem cell research involves the human embryo. Stem cells are found in adult stem cells, umbilical cord, amniotic, bone marrow.

Using a "discarded" embryo is no longer our only option. If diabetes, cardio vascular disease, Parkinson's, certain cancers could potentially be cured why not? There are too many adults and children suffering. We are a race of hope and ambition. Stem cell research can open doors to many opportunities. It may turn into a cure for cancer or a brain disease.


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Yes, stem cell research should remain legal and become government-funded. Honestly, the entire argument against stem cell research is null and void. It rests upon the belief that it is immoral, as it involves the destruction of human embryos.

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Whether stem cell research should be conducted or not is a massive issue that can be approached from many fact-based perspectives, but the more controversial debate is over whether the stem cells used should be embryonic or adult stem cells.

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Specifically, the legislation should charge the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services with the duty to update at regular intervals its regulations for embryonic stem cell research in light of new science. Feb 03,  · Stem cell research is legal, has always been legal, and will remain legal. All Bush did was limit government funding to stem cell lines that were in existence at the time that bill was Resolved.

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