Cloning and Stem Cell Research - Position Paper.
This paper will explore the controversy surrounding stem cell research, and the great many ethical issues that it brings with it. Stem cell research is one of the most impressive recent advances in medical research. Scientists and medical professionals have become excited about their potential to treat a wide variety of illnesses including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, autoimmune diseases, and various forms of paralysis and spinal cord injuries. The controversy comes from the methods used to acquire these stem cells.
First, my paper will look at the science behind stem cells, and how and when they can be used to treat people. A stem cell can take the form of any tissue or cell in the body. It does not start out as any particular muscle cell or blood cell. Instead, it can grow into almost any kind of cell needed. Stem cells are already being used for research, treating diseases, and may some day be used to repair or replace damaged tissue or organs. The potential is seemingly limitless.
Next, my paper will explore the various political and ethical debates this subject is causing. It is a hot political issue, and involves not only stem cell research, but abortion rights as well. Our Governor here in California recently signed a law permitting research on embryonic stem cells. This law allows human embryos to be donated and destroyed for research purposes. This law directly challenges President Bush, who in August of this year made an announcement that the U.S. would allow the use of federal funds for research only on existing stem cells.
Next, my paper will look at the various methods of acquiring stem cells, and the potential of each one. Adult stem cells can be used, but are they as effective an embryonic ones are? Some scientists believe they are, while others say that the younger cells will work better because of their better ability to grow into various things.