Stem cell research is certainly controversial. In fact, the government turned down funding for it during President Bush’s time. Many who recognize the impact of stem cell research and therapy of course opposed this restriction, citing that it hindered significant medical progress.
What are the real reasons people are against stem cell research? The answers vary. Some cry “abortion” because in the process of harvesting embryonic stem cells for various medical purposes (one of them is for body parts to regrow), fertilized human eggs are destroyed. The bottom line for conservatives is that stem cell research kills human life.
In stark contrast to embryonic eggs being harvested for stem cells, using adult stem cells for research and development hardly has any opposition. There is funding for adult stem cell research, though there are very little resources to harvest in the first place (and the procedure is said to be very painful). At least for the moment, adult stem cells cannot be utilized…and a long list of patients waiting to be rehabilitated by stem cell remedy have to gather more patience.
Many question stem cell research because of moral issues. However, morality becomes blurred when one takes into consideration that aborting embryos has already been legalized in the country. This makes the entire issue ethically and morally ambiguous.
Still others argue about the astronomical cost of stem cell research and development. While stem cell research promises to cure many degenerative and deadly diseases, a lot of medical practitioners think that funding for cancer research and other “established” illnesses would be more beneficial and useful. Focusing on the “now” instead of the “tomorrow” seems a better option for many who are against harvesting stem cells.
Yet another controversy has reared its head recently, with several parties voicing out that, should stem cell research be approved, funded, and go into full swing, people might start charging for their stem cells in pretty much the same way organ donors buy body parts. Again, this can be addressed with the argument that eggs removed from the body will not cause as much harm as, say, a kidney. Cells regenerate: that’s what they do.
The bottom line of stem cell research controversies is that people will always find a way to oppose it, regardless of its potential and obvious benefits. While it is laudable to cite reasons (ethical, moral, and others that hopefully grounded in logic), it is also important to keep an open mind and eye about the bigger implications which scientific research like this can bring to humanity.