Embryonic Stem Cells, Save Lives or Kill Lives
Jeung Eun Kim
Embryonic stem cells are said to be the pathway for the future of medicine. However, embryonic stem cell research is mired in controversy. People either believe that embryonic stem cell research has great potential for treating previously impossible diseases, or that it is an act disregarding human life. This is because while embryonic stem cells have the ability to elastically differentiate into other specialized cells, they are also taken from embryos. When enough stem cells are taken from embryos, the embryos die, thus sparking the controversy.
It is true that embryonic stem cells could be extremely beneficial for the development of cures. People pro-embryonic stem cell research argue that the loss of embryos is of no matter, because they do not count stem cells as life. This argument was very convincing because many people view human life forms as beings that are able to be sustained outside of the mother’s womb. However, looking at embryos from a purely scientific point is not the only option. Many people do not consider the emotional side of this matter.
Curing cancer, blindness, ridding the world of tumors and other ills would be a beautiful possibility. However, what exactly are embryos? What exactly are people arguing for and against? Embryos are defined by the Google dictionary as “unborn offspring in the process of development”. It seems cold and unrelated when the dictionary definition is fished out. For quite a long time, it seemed agreeable to have a positive stance for the research of embryonic stem cells. Was that really the case?
If one goes to Google and search “embryo”, many scientific definitions pop up. Pages and pages of results defining embryos as potential life forms come up, and it desensitizes people two what an embryo may be. Embryos are beings between 5 to 8 weeks of pregnancy.
5 months into pregnancy is when a soon-to-be-mother calls her parents to say, “I’m having a baby!” 5 months into pregnancy is when a woman gets congratulated by everyone she meets. 5 months into pregnancy is when people get the pregnancy glow. 5 months into pregnancy is when a mother realizes that she is, in fact, a mother. 5 months into pregnancy is a baby.
There are people who are suffering in the world because of incurable ails. They suffer daily enduring incredible pain. It is true that embryonic stem cell research may be the key to that suffering. It is true that there are two sides to this story, and that both sides must be considered equally. However, there are options other than embryonic stem cells. Options that are just as good with comparatively little controversy. Scientists are finding ways of making adult stem cells have the properties of embryonic stem cells. With more research and more breakthroughs, adult stem cells may safely replicate the same differentiation abilities as embryonic stem cells. Perhaps the funding could go towards those areas instead.