Point: The Potential of Stem Cell Research

Pearson, John
December 2017
Points of View: Stem Cell Research;12/31/2017, p5
This article presents an argument on the potential of stem cell research. Therapeutic treatments involving stem cells show tremendous potential for the treatment of complex diseases related to genetic disorders that now afflict millions of people. Federal funding for such research should be expanded. Current severe restrictions on the use of human embryos make the United States a hostile climate for such research, driving both funding and talent to other countries, a trend that could eventually hamper access to treatment in the U.S. Most of the controversy over stem cells arises from the need for human embryos. However, there is a vast and varied resource of embryos already available, created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. While staunch anti-abortion foes usually maintain that life begins at conception, it is important to recognize that embryos are not human beings--they are potential human beings. Embryos do not mature into a single human entity until after 14 days. Before that time, embryos are multi-celled human genetic material that may or may not be accepted by a woman's womb in order to continue growth and the formation of a human entity.


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