Stem Cell Research Pros and Cons List
With the recent announcement that President Obama has decided to lift the federal funding ban for stem cell research, more and more people are starting to debate the pros and cons of the formerly controversial procedure. There are many different perspectives on the topic, so let’s take a look at each side of the coin.
List of Pros of Stem Cell Research
1. Cure for Diseases
The idea that stem cell research could unlock the potential cure for a plethora of diseases is reason enough for scientists to dedicate a great deal of time and money towards utilizing the research to develop vaccines and medications based on the use of stem cells.
2. Ease of Treatment
It is widely believed that stem cells of the embryonic variety can potentially contain the cure for several injuries and diseases that have plagued mankind for centuries now. Spinal cord injuries would be much easier to treat, as well as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Eradicate Lethal Diseases
There are literally hundreds of current genetic disorders and immune system related maladies that could be cured with the use of stem cell research. The possibilities for the eradication of disease and injury related death and suffering are endless.
4. Infinite Application
Scientists who are in support of stem cell research have gone on record as saying that there are infinite possibilities for the application of stem cells. By dedicating further resources to the research of embryonic stem cells, they are able to increase their grasp on previously unknown topics.
5. Improved Human Development
Human development has always been tricky for scientists to track and quantify, a problem that stem cell research essentially eliminates from consideration. When it comes to treating diseases, the more a scientist is able to understand about a human’s development and growth, the better.
6. Development of Technologies and Treatment
It is important to note that no major disease cures are currently imminent. United States scientists have been banned from partaking in stem cell research until recently, which has impeded their overall development of cures.
7. Millions Have Benefited
The good news is that over 100 million American citizens stand to benefit from the spoils of stem cell research. There are several diseases and ailments that have been thought to be curable and scientists are working around the clock to locate these cures.
8. Decrease Pain and Suffering
Even if stem cell research is unable to locate a cure for all of the aforementioned diseases and injuries, there is a very good chance that scientists will at least be able to develop treatments, so that patients no longer have to live in constant pain.
9. Improved Health Care for Future Generations
Some medical experts have opined that the advent of stem cell research could be the greatest development when it comes to eradication of the human race’s suffering and pain since the invention of antibiotics. Moral observers also believe that it is important to end as much human suffering as we possibly can and leave a less painful existence for the next generation.
List of Cons of Stem Cell Research
There is a school of thought that believes that stem cell research is highly overrated and not nearly as much of a slam dunk as medical experts would have led you to believe.
2. Ethical Conflicts
Now that scientists are using much more ethical methods to perform stem cell research, many of the old battle cries have begun to fade away. Pro-lifers used to be one of the groups that was most staunchly against stem cell research because they believed life should not be destroyed for any reason.
3. Lack of Success in Many Arenas
Now, the newest detractors point to stem cell research’s lack of success thus far in curing any major diseases and argue that this is a poor harbinger for the future.
4. Is Not Worth Long Term Benefits
Some believe that the costs of stem cell research are not equivalent to the benefits, primarily for this reason. Since no diseases have been cured at the moment, they would like to see resources being allocated for different forms of medical research.
5. No Definitive Proof of Cures
There are also not any definitive proof that diseases can be cured and injuries can be treated by using any principles that have been derived from stem cell research, which is another factor that detractors point to.
6. Divert Resources Elsewhere
When considering the pros and cons of any research project, ethics must come into play. Since stem cell research is not proven to produce benefits that are commiserate with its overall costs, this is reason enough for certain factions to believe that the study is a waste of time and money that could be better used elsewhere.
7. To Much Uncertainty
The uncertainty is the main cause for consternation in those who are opposed to stem cell research. In a perfect world, we would be able to perfectly quantify all scientific research and know exactly what we were going to get out of it.
8. Moral Conflicts
There are others who are frightened by the prospect of stem cell research because they believe human cloning would be the next domino to fall. They envision a lab filled with human parts growing in test tubes.
9. Population Issues in Future
While this is somewhat silly, it speaks to a larger, more valid point. If people are no longer able to pass away at a normal rate, what will this development do to the world’s population? The Earth is projected to reach a population of 11 billion within the next 80 to 90 years, before factoring in medical advances.
Stem cell research is something that almost seems too good to be true. Scientific research that could potentially curtail the impact of devastating injuries and rescue us from the clutches of diseases that were once thought to be incurable is an exciting prospect. But there are valid points to be made on both sides of the debate, one that will rage on for years to come.