Stem Cell Research: A Bioethical Issue in Election Times

It seems many topics cannot be discussed today without controversy.In a year with a presidential campaign, it gets even worse.Heated debates between presidential candidates, party members and even neighbors are hard to ignore, especially with constant media coverage.One of the hot topics in this presidential campaign is the controversy over human stem cell research.

There are two kinds of human stem cells: adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells.Each human adult has stem cells within their body.They can be found in many places, such as the skin, bone marrow and liver, among other places, but adult stem cells have not proven to be as pliable as embryonic stem cells and are rarer.Embryonic stem cells are master cells that form in thefirst five to seven days of fertilization.In current research, most of these cells come from excess embryos that were produced in a lab for in vitro fertilization for couples who could not conceive children naturally.More embryos are fertilized than what is needed in order for the procedure to be more successful.Embryonic stem cells have the ability to grow into over 100 different human tissues, making them ideal for research.Scientists believe that many devastating illnesses ailing today's world, including Parkinson's, diabetes and spinal cord injuries, could be miraculously healed by the power held within these small cells.This is where the controversy begins.

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For as many people who believe that life begins at conception and should not be to fuel scientific research at any cost, there seem to be as many who believe that embryonic stem cells hold the promise of medical and scientific breakthrough.In order to obtain human embryonic stem cells, the human embryo must be destroyed.In a view where life begins at conception, this is a moral and ethical dilemma of taking a human life.The controversy is difficult though, since most embryonic stem cells come from e…

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