Stem Cell Research: The Debate Over Federal Funding

1215 words - 5 pages

Embryonic Stem Cell Research:

Pro-Federal Funding

The Alliance for Aging Research is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. As an agency geared toward improving the health of human beings as they age, some of their responsibilities include lobbying for federal legislation, conducting studies and surveys, and creating and distributing educational materials to health care professionals and the public. With Baby Boomers closely reaching the later stages of life, this group has found themselves focused primarily on research programs for the geriatric.

In order to ensure progress and the stability of their organization, they have established some fundamental guidelines which they use to conduct business. Following their principles, they believe that research on aging is valuable, good for social and economical policy, and under-funded. Supporting statements of their guiding principles include the need for "research to understand and manipulate aging at the molecular and cellular levels."

A statement was issued by Dan Perry, executive director of The Alliance for Aging Research, in regards to The Alliance's stance on therapeutic cloning. He states in this announcement that the agency is against cloning of a human being, but they are supportive of the rights of scientists to conduct cloning experiments in Petri dishes. Rather than supporting experiments on eggs, that has truly been fertilized by sperm, the Alliance for Aging Research supports experimentation on eggs that have had the DNA of other somatic cells inserted and then programmed to replicate as if they had been fertilized by sperm. In order to obtain the needed stem cells, the egg must grow for at least 3-5 days.

In relation to the much heated debate on "where does life begin," Perry states that comparing the research of an unfertilized egg growing in a Petri dish to the research involving human beings is not a valid argument. He also follows up with an argument that posing fines or jail sentences on research is only going to scare future bright minds away from pursuing careers in the medical research field. To conclude Perry's argument in support of stem cell research, he sum's it up with the Alliance's stance that it is our patriotic duty to pursue human expansion potential to its fullest extent.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research:

Anti-Federal Funding

Do No Harm: The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics takes a very firm stand against the use of federal funding to aid in embryonic stem cell research. This coalition was founded by 8 extensively educated medical professionals, with the majority of them having specialized backgrounds in ethics or bioethics. The basis of their stance on the argument lies with the legally recognized practice of informed consent that requires a physician to do no harm to a patient. Their argument is that embryonic stem cell research that requires the...

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