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Stem Cells Case

Autor:   •  December 6, 2013  •  Case Study  •  799 Words (4 Pages)  •  681 Views

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Stem Cells

A stem cell is a cell with the ability to divide for indefinite periods and become any type of cell in the body. There are different types of stem cells, but they all have the same capacity to develop into different types of cells, while self-renewing and multiplying. The difference between an embryonic stem cell and an adult stem cell is that an embryonic stem cell is obtained from embryos. Most are developed from eggs that have been fertilized in-vitro and then donated to research with informed consent from the donor; an adult stem cell is an undifferentiated cell, meaning a cell that has not yet developed into a specific type. These cells are found among differentiated cells, their role being to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are found.

Researchers prefer embryonic to adult stem cells because adult cells tend to be found in limited quantities, and are difficult to isolate. Embryonic cells also have the ability to transform into more types of cells.

Stem cell research is limited by the government. Federal law never did ban stem cell research, but rather placed restrictions on funding. These restrictions have to do primarily with ethical controversies. The main argument is that embryo’s are human and that they have legal and moral rights and therefore, deserve protection. In 2009, President Obama lifted the federal funding restriction on stem cell research, but a federal judge recently overruled it stating it violated a 1987 law prohibiting the use of taxpayer money for research that destroys a human embryo.

I am at a crossroads with this question because I think that the government should have the power to limit stem cell research if it is supplying the funding, however I believe that that government shouldn’t be allowed to spend taxpayer’s money on research that not everyone agrees with. If the government continues to fund the research being done on stem cells, then I believe they have the right to determine what limitations are being put on these studies. Additionally I support any research done in the private sector to increase the prospect of medical treatments.

The United States allows for individual states to regulate their stem cell research. This permits local laws to be subject to politics and ethical beliefs and is a way for residents to voice opinions on the subject on a smaller scale. Although there will always


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