This is a very ‘hot button’ issue that keeps arising in the face of politicians everywhere in the country. What if anything should the government involve itself in for the issues of stem cell research? How far should the government press into the fields of medical science research? Should the government interfere at all, or stand back and come up with laws to handle the consequences of such research?
It comes into question, how many ordinary Americans really know and understand what stem cell research is, how it can effect our lives, and what does it have the ability to do in the future? With topics such as abortion being very hot and causing pressures on all sides, it only seems natural that stem cell research should cause just as much controversy. Many supporters argue that the research gathered will be able to save millions of lives, while those opposing the research all argue that they are killing thousands of innocent children in the process.
This brings the question, where do the embryos come from? The majority of the embryos used in the research come from couples that have donated them, following a treatment for infertility; there are often 10 or more embryos left over after such procedures, which can be put to use in the laboratory environment. The options for those embryos are limited; they can be preserved, adopted to a needy couple, destroyed, or donated to medical research.
The embryos are only a few mere days past conception when they are frozen, and are unable to sustain life in any form on their own. From a legal standpoint, they are not living humans, and are not an infant since legally an embryo becomes an infant once the first breath of air is taken. This leaves the questions of who has the right to determine what can happen to them.
The embryos are the building blocks of people, yet, they have no rights themselves. Whom do they belong to? Who is responsible for ensuring they are taken care of? Many consider the embryos being used in research as the same category as murder. Is it actually murder when the child is never born, and is only conceived in a test tube? Who should really make the decision about how these embryos should be handled?
The embryos themselves are rich in stem cells, which scientists have said can help cure some of the worst diseases and conditions in the world. This makes the concept very tempting, but is this dabbling in aspects of science that shouldn’t be used? Should humans really be trying to recreate whole body parts and organs from the stem cells in order to help a few, but at the expense of a few other lives?
The current administration has tried to place a ban on this research and block the use of the embryos. This has upset many supporters who feel this research is vital to the survival of the human race, while those who digress the ideas are upset that is has not been banned fully yet. Where is the better side to stand? Should we allow the government to meddle into the scientific aspects of medicine, or should we continue the research to save thousands, or millions of lives?