For my essay I will be researching the benefits of stem cell research, specifically embryonic stem cell research in order to show that funding should be increased. In my research and essay I believe I will be able to prove that embryonic stem cell research is currently the most reliable option on the path to curing a wide array of ailments and diseases including loss of limbs. Most scientists agree that the easiest way to obtain usable stem cells is through the utilization of embryonic cells. The main reason that more funding has not been given is due to the alleged moral dilemma that this type of research faces. While harvesting cells from fetuses may seem gruesome, the diseases that stand to be cured by their application are far more so. Stem cells have been proven to have the ability to rejuvenate damaged tissue as well as the creation of entirely new tissues and it is widely believed that these methods are superior to conventional methods because they carry a far less mild “risk-benefit profile”. Stem cells are a viable option in curing any disease or illness in which tissue has been damaged, some of which include diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injuries and Alzheimer’s. These diseases are debilitating and can often lead to death however funding for embryonic stem cell research is far from adequate. The fact that stem cells may be used to cure or prevent these potentially fatal diseases should be reason enough to overlook any moral hesitations.
I will use the following list of resources to support my argument that funding for embryonic stem cell research should be increased by proving the capabilities of this incredible science:
This article discusses why stem cells are better than traditional medicinal methods to cure/treat diseases and other illnesses. It depicts the advances in stem cell research techniques and the changes to the field that have come within the last decade. It also describes other means of modern regenerative medicine in an unbiased light.
How I intend to use it: I intend to use this article to describe why stem cells are a better, more productive way to treat and possibly cure or prevent certain illnesses. In this way I will show that stem cell research deserves more funding than other areas of research.
This article describes the diseases that might someday be cured by stem cells. It also explains why stem cells would be beneficial and how they would be utilized in each disease. This article is also a great resource because it gives a slightly skeptical viewpoint that can be used for arguments against funding this type of research.
How I intend to use it: I will use this article to bring to light the terrible diseases that stand to be cured by stem cells in order to prove that more funding should be approved. I will also use this article to identify counter arguments so I can debunk them using my other sources.
This article provides information on why it is most useful to use stem cells derived from an embryo and how the source of the stem cell changes the properties of the cell itself. It also explains the downfalls of the other methods of obtaining usable stem cells.
How I intend to use it: I intend to use this article to show the reader why it is so important that the stem cells come from an embryonic source. By examining why embryonic stem cells are the most useable and how other methods are far less productive I can support funding for this specific type of stem cell research. I will also use this source in correlation with one other source (not listed here) to identify the counterintuitivity of this topic, in that embryonic stem cells have the potential to be a so-called “miracle drug” but because of a moral issue it has been extremely difficult to conduct the needed research.
This article contains the court case of Sherley v. Sebelius which was the main impetus behind the Dickey-Wicker Amendment that caused the ban on embryonic stem cell research (lifted by President Obama) and is still the cause of much argument surrounding this type of research. It also contains a much more recent case that dealt with embryonic stem cell research.
How I intend to use it: I intend to use this article to give background information on the initial ban, and current damper on the funding given to embryonic stem cell research. I will then counter the implications of this case with the scientific data gathered in my other sources. This source will also be useful in identifying the moral dilemmas that have hurt the entire field.
This article describes the wonders of stem cells in the form of an amazing story of a man who grew back part of his finger that was removed in an accident. This man grew back his entire finger in only four months using stem cells (in fact using an inferior method to embryonic stem cells).
How I intend to use it: I intend to use this as a concrete example of the power of stem cells in the field of regenerative medicine. Due to the ban on embryonic stem cells during the time of his accident the stem cells of a pig were used which are inferior to human stem cells, this in mind I intend to show that the potential of the far superior embryonic stem cells is nearly limitless. By showing how powerful and effective stem cells are I hope to prove the need for more funding.