Pros and Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research


Embryonic stem cell research has remained to be a contentious topic of discussion between advocates and critics of the study. Although some medical experts support the use of discarded embryos used for in vitro fertilization, there are also members of the medical field who are not totally for the process. To have an idea of the ongoing debate about the issues, let us look at some of the advantages and setbacks pointed out by the proponents and opponents of the research.

List of Pros of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

1. Beneficial to Medicine
Proponents of embryonic stem cell research posit that stem cells can be used to develop new drugs for medical conditions which might have been incurable before. These illnesses can include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries and birth defects, to name a few.

2. Taken with Consent from Donors
Another contention of advocates is the fact that before these embryonic cells are used for research, donors should sign a form of consent allowing the studies to be done. Moreover, they emphasize that these embryos are only two weeks old and not really considered to have life.

3. Discarded Embryos
Supporters of embryonic stem cell research say that these types of activities and projects are beneficial to the majority of the population and are not unethical or immoral since these cells are those that did not meet the criteria required to be used on in vitro. They also emphasize that these embryos will be destroyed anyway and this is why it is better to put them in use and be of help in the society and the future generation.

List of Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

1. Life Potential
Critics of embryonic stem cell research say that human embryos, even if they are as young as two weeks old, should be respected and not be used as guinea pigs. They also emphasize that using these embryos for research removes their rights to become human beings.

2. Not Yet Proven
Opponents also argue that it has not yet been proven that these embryos are alive or not so who is to say they should be destroyed. Moreover, there is still no evidence that these embryos can really cure diseases, to think there have been concerns by some medical experts on organ rejection in the event that these stem cells will be used.

3. Added Government Expense
Some critics who are not for this research complain that the Federal government funds some of these researches using the money of taxpayers. Despite the controversy, the American government has already spent half a billion dollars for these projects. For the opponents, they would rather see taxpayers’ money spent somewhere else like health care instead of researches that yield unpredictable results.

Embryonic stem cells clearly can offer numerous benefits in the field of medicine. However, aside from having no evidence, researches done also have ethical implications. Whether it is beneficial or otherwise now depends on the objective views of both parties.