Controversy surrounding stem cell research

Embryonic stem cell research poses a moral dilemma.

Controversy surrounding stem cell research

At the core of the issue is one central question: When does life begin? At this time, to get stem cells that are reliable, scientists either have to use an embryo that has already been conceived or else clone an embryo using a cell from a patient's body and a donated egg.

Either way, to harvest an embryo's stem cells, scientists must destroy it. Although that embryo may only contain four or five cells, some religious leaders say that destroying it is the equivalent of taking a human life. Inevitably, this issue entered the political arena.

InCongress passed a rider to the federal appropriations bill called the Dickey-Wicker amendment. Representatives Jay Dickey and Roger Wicker proposed banning the use of federal monies for any research in which a human embryo is created or destroyed.

Federal monies are a primary source of funding for stem cell research. The amendment has been renewed every year since that time. InPresident George W. Bush further restricted federal stem cell research.

In an executive order, Bush stated that federal funds could only be used for research on human embryonic stem cell lines that had already been established only 22 cell lines. This prevented researchers from creating more embryonic stem cell lines for research.

InPresident Barack Obama issued an executive order to expand embryonic stem cell research.

Problem Solved?

Obama's administration allowed federal funding of embryonic stem cell research if the following conditions applied: The cell line was one of the 22 in existence during the Bush administration or was created from embryos that had been discarded after in vitro fertilization procedures.

The donors of the embryos were not paid in any way. The donors clearly knew that the embryos would be used for research purposes prior to giving consent. According to the administration, the new policy did not violate the Dickey-Wicker amendment because the money did not finance the creation of new embryos they had already been created by private means and did not finance the destruction of them.

Controversy surrounding stem cell research

Intwo researchers from Boston, Dr. Theresa Deisher of the Ava Maria Biotechnology Company, and other agencies filed a lawsuit against the government. Initially, the lawsuit was dismissed because the judge ruled that the plaintiffs had no legal standing i.

However, a court of appeals overturned the initial ruling. The two scientists remained plaintiffs.Jan 11,  · The largest controversy with stem cell research is the use of an embryo. This deals with the controversies surrounding laws and beliefs regarding contraception, abortion, and in vitro fertilization.4/4(5).

Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research. or stem cell extraction techniques that do not damage the embryo, that also provides alternatives for obtaining viable stem cell lines. Out of necessity, the research on these alternatives is catching up with embryonic stem cell research and, with sufficient funding, other solutions might be found that.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research: An Ethical Dilemma

In the meantime, stem cell research and the careers of stem cell researchers hang on a legal roller coaster. Although stem cells have great potential for treating diseases, much work on the science, ethical and legal fronts remains.

The stem cell controversy is the consideration of the ethics of research involving the development, use, and destruction of human embryos. Most commonly, this controversy focuses on embryonic stem cells. Stem Cell Research Controversy - Stem cell research controversy is explained in this section.

Learn about stem cell research controversy. Stem cell therapies are not new. Doctors have been performing bone marrow stem cell transplants for decades. But when scientists learned how to remove stem cells from human embryos in , both excitement and controversy ensued.

Ethical Issues in Stem Cell Research