See Article History Alternative Title: Cloning happens all the time in nature—for example, when a cell replicates itself asexually without any genetic alteration or recombination. Prokaryotic organisms organisms lacking a cell nucleus such as bacteria create genetically identical duplicates of themselves using binary fission or budding. In eukaryotic organisms organisms possessing a cell nucleus such as humans, all the cells that undergo mitosissuch as skin cells and cells lining the gastrointestinal tractare clones ; the only exceptions are gametes eggs and spermwhich undergo meiosis and genetic recombination.
Embryonic stem cell research poses a moral dilemma. It forces us to choose between two moral principles: The duty to prevent or alleviate suffering The duty to respect the value of human life In the case of embryonic stem cell research, it is impossible to respect both moral principles.
To obtain embryonic stem cells, the early embryo has to be destroyed. This means destroying a potential human life. But embryonic stem cell research could lead to the discovery of new medical treatments that would alleviate the suffering of many people. So which moral principle should have the upper hand in this situation?
The answer hinges on how we view the embryo.
Does it have the status of a person? Chapter 1 of this film introduces some of the key ethical arguments. The moral status of the embryo is a controversial and complex issue. The main viewpoints are outlined below.
The embryo has full moral status from fertilization onwards Either the embryo is viewed as a person whilst it is still an embryo, or it is seen as a potential person.
Arguments Stem cells controversy this view Arguments against this view Development from a fertilized egg into to baby is a continuous process and any attempt to pinpoint when personhood begins is arbitrary. A human embryo is a human being in the embryonic stage, just as an infant is a human being in the infant stage.
Although an embryo does not currently have the characteristics of a person, it will become a person and should be given the respect and dignity of a person. An early embryo that has not yet been implanted into the uterus does not have the psychological, emotional or physical properties that we associate with being a person.
It therefore does not have any interests to be protected and we can use it for the benefit of patients who ARE persons.
It needs external help to develop. Even then, the probability that embryos used for in vitro fertilization will develop into full-term successful births is low.
Something that could potentially become a person should not be treated as if it actually were a person. A candidate for president is a potential president, but he or she does not have the rights of a president and should not be treated as a president.
There is a cut-off point at 14 days after fertilization Some people argue that a human embryo deserves special protection from around day 14 after fertilization because: After 14 days the embryo can no longer split to form twins. Before this point, the embryo could still be split to become two or more babies, or it might fail to develop at all.
Before day 14, the embryo has no central nervous system and therefore no senses. If we can take organs from patients who have been declared brain dead and use them for transplants, then we can also use hundred-cell embryos that have no nervous system.
An embryo in the earliest stages is not clearly defined as an individual. The embryo has increasing status as it develops An embryo deserves some protection from the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg, and its moral status increases as it becomes more human-like.
Arguments for this view There are several stages of development that could be given increasing moral status: Implantation of the embryo into the uterus wall around six days after fertilization.
Appearance of the primitive streak — the beginnings of the nervous system — at around 14 days. The phase when the baby could survive if born prematurely. If a life is lost, we tend to feel differently about it depending on the stage of the lost life. A fertilized egg before implantation in the uterus could be granted a lesser degree of respect than a human fetus or a born baby.
More than half of all fertilized eggs are lost due to natural causes. If the natural process involves such loss, then using some embryos in stem cell research should not worry us either.
Whatever moral status the human embryo has for us, the life that it lives has a value to the embryo itself. If we judge the moral status of the embryo from its age, then we are making arbitrary decisions about who is human.Your number one site for the latest stem cell news. Apr 14, · III.
Embryonic Stem Cell Research. Pluripotent stem cell lines can be derived from the inner cell mass of the 5- to 7-d-old blastocyst. However, human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research is ethically and politically controversial because it involves the destruction of human embryos.
Stem Therapy in Naples Join us for a free premier of the documentary revealing the details around STEM CELL HEALING Miracles and the controversy surrounding them. Breast milk contains stem cells that could potentially beat diseases from Alzheimer’s to cancer, according to scientists.
The milk, intended by Mother Nature to . The controversy regarding the method involved was much tenser when researchers used Embryonic Stem Cells as their main method for stem cell research. DISCLAIMER: These points are based on the old debate about the methods of stem cells research, from before In the meantime, stem cell research and the careers of stem cell researchers hang on a legal roller coaster.
Although stem cells have great potential for treating diseases, much work on the science, ethical and legal fronts remains. For more on stem cells, investigate the links on the following page.