Stem cell research has been in existence for over two decades. Though a controversial topic, policies on the limits of Stem cell research are clear. Policies of governments across the globe vary on the legality of the prohibited and allowed research and use of stem cell embryos.
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Despite the fact that most of research on stem cell is financed by the public fund, governing bodies are in place to monitor their outcome and purpose. Thus, this reflective paper attempts to investigate on the legality and views of the protagonists and antagonists on stem cell research.
Medical researchers are in the front line in championing for ethical guidelines on the limits of the international laws on stem cell research. From the United Nations to the World Health Organization, it is universally accepted that Stem cell research should lie within regulatory limits capable of containing hasty scientific development (Marzilli 120).
For instance, the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine Council of Europe has mobilized the members into signing a ban on embryo creations exclusively for research intention. In 2005, the United Nation agreed on a declaration against human cloning act.
In addition, The Hinxton Group, meeting in Cambridge 2009, presented an accord of declaration for flexibility of laws on stem cell research (Foerstel 103).
In the United Kingdom, stem cell research with the human cells was legalized by the “Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990” passed in the year 2001. However, the “Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority” acquiescence is a prerequisite for a legal research.
In United States, the “New Jersey’s 2004 SI909 act” allowed human cloning (Marzilli 140).In 2006, the “Missouri Amendment Two” permitted research on embryonic stem cell just as it is also legal in Indiana, Michigan, South Dakota, and Arkansas among other states.
Later, in 2005, President Bush accented into law the “Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005.” However, the Omnibus Appropriation Act of 2009 bans public funding of research on new stem cell embryos (Foerstel 63).
Primarily, stem cell research has numerous benefits on the fields of therapeutic cloning and regenerative medicine. As a matter of fact, stem cells modification may be a breakthrough in treatments of ailments such as diabetes, Alzheimer, cancer, Parkinson, and Huntingtons among others which are currently incurable.
Besides, stem cell research offers an opportunity to study origin, growth, and development of human beings (Marzilli 175). In addition, research has proven that uni-parental cells responds positively in experimental treatment of diseases in animals, and this can be extended to human beings.
Reflectively, stem cell research has vast potential in eliminating viral diseases if more funds are allocated for such projects.
However, opponents of stem cell research argue that scientific use of stem cells for research destroys blastocysts of human eggs which are already fertilized. On ethical grounds, destruction of fertilized human eggs also means killing of innocent lives.
From a Christian perspective, conception marks the beginning of life (Foerstel 48). Any human activity modifying or interfering with biological cycle of humanity is immoral and unacceptable. Thus, views of these antagonists seem to have weight. Interestingly, they are the majority of tax payers who are expected to fund these ‘murderous projects’ (Foerstel 131).
At present, funding by the federal government is limited to existing embryo cells. Many scientists have developed the option of extracting no-embryonic cells for stem cell research. Companies like ACT and Revivicor have embraced the technology of extracting stem cells from amniotic fluids. With better funding, an acceptable solution is achievable.
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Foerstel, Hebert. Toxic mix? a handbook of science and politics. New York: ABC CLIO, 2010. Print.
Marzilli, Alan. Stem cell research and cloning. New York: InfoBase Publishing, 2006. Print.