Opposing Viewpoints: Is stem cell research justifiable?
Debate should be about "how" not "whether or not"
By Gavin Kirkwood
When discussing stem cell research, we need to differentiate abortion and the use of stem cells. Stem Cells come from a variety of sources found in adults including umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, blood (peripheral stem cells), menstrual blood, skin, teeth and placental tissue. Granted that when it comes to embryonic stem cells, human embryos are considered the “best” source, there are plenty of ways for stem cell research to progress without the use of them.
The discussion should not be whether or not stem cell research should progress (due to stem cell’s proven therapeutic properties), the question should be how stem cell research should progress. People shouldn’t justify abortion because of the help the stem cells can do, but we need to realize as a Christian community that there is nothing wrong with using adult stem cells to help people with disabling conditions. If we are to claim that using adult stem cells are wrong then we cannot justify the use of donated organs to save people’s lives or the use of blood transfusions. There are both moral and immoral ways of doing everything and stem cell research is no exception. We should advocate the continuation to pursue stem cell research and the use of adult stem cells in order to minimize the effects of disabling conditions and promote healing.
We must draw lines
By Jennifer Northway
Stem cell research has been a hot topic over the past few months, with heated arguments on both sides. For a long time I didn’t know any facts about stem cells. In fact, I didn’t really know what they were beyond what I heard in the news. Upon further research, I learned that stem cells have the potential to grow into any type of cell — doctors use them to replace dead cells in the body. For example, stem cells could be substituted for damaged or dead neural cells.
There are three sources of these stem cells: adult cells, cord cells, and embryonic cells. The latter is the source that I am dead set against. When doctors extract the stem cells from embryos they are destroyed, thus killing the forming child. Many ask why not use the other two sources to get stem cells from, but the problem is that embryonic cells are the best and most universally transferrable form. Adult cells are only transferrable to the body they were extracted from and cord cells can only be given to the immediate family. Embryonic stem cells, because they are collected at such an early stage of development, can adapt to any human body, but when it comes to the life of a child, I would rather science be obstructed than have a life lost.