Since the emergence of the stem cell era nearly thirty years ago, a fiery controversy has raged regarding the morality of embryonic stem cell research. The much-disputed conflict has sparked law suits reaching all the way up to the Supreme Court. Such was the case on January 7th, when a lawsuit was argued at the Court aiming to stop government funding to embryonic stem cell research. The suit claimed that the funding was a violation of the1996 Dickey-Wicker law. The decision by the Supreme Court to continue stem cell funding was in the best interests of both humanitarians and patients with possible stem-cell-treatable diseases.
On the topic of stem cell research, the President himself stated: “Medical miracles do not happen simply by accident.” While this phrase can be applied to any medical research, it holds true especially in the science of stem cells. Truly, a scientific revolution would dawn should a breakthrough in stem cell research occur. Stem cells are useful by definition; they form the scaffolding for the human model inside a mother’s womb. Under specific stimulation outside a womb, these undifferentiated embryonic stem cells are capable of forming into virtually any of the nearly 220 cells seen in the human body. Indeed, the regenerative tissue that comes out of stem cell research could yield cures for a variety of conditions such as spinal cord damage, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. The United States National Institute of Health says that an understanding of the cell-differentiating process may increase our understanding of such illnesses. The study of embryonic stem cells is clearly integral to medical progression.
Additionally, research in this field is much more humane than previously thought. In fact, it is quite immoral to deny potential treatments to millions suffering from birth defects, diabetes, and an array of cancers, while sparing a mere microscopic cell. The potential well-being of any breathing human being is well worth the potential damage done to any number of cells. Even if a cure for such diseases are not found in stem cells, the research conducted may yield information about genome coding that could be beneficial to the treatment of patients. As a society, we must ensure that we value these lives over that of a cell, and therefore we must continue with stem cell research.
Indeed, stem cell research is not only beneficial to the millions of people hindered daily by ailments; indeed, the United States economy might benefit from such research. The U.S. cannot afford to have funding ripped away from such a potentially advantageous science while countries around the world make great leaps in stem cell technology. The company that makes a revolutionary stem cell finding will no doubt receive billions of dollars worth of profit, and it would be to our economic benefit to have that company located in the United States. Obama himself commented on the issue of foreign stem cell research by remarking that “some of our best scientists leave for other countries that will sponsor their work. And those countries may surge ahead of ours in the advances that transform our lives.” Truly, stem cell research will lead to the next scientific breakthrough, and such a breakthrough should happen in no other country but the United States.
For the betterment of science, and disease treatment embryonic stem cells research must be funded by the American government. Americans must embrace stem cell research as part of a scientific revolution to saves the lives of those with terminal diseases.