Ethical, Social & Legal Issues:

Stem Cell research has experienced phenomenal gains within the last two decades. Stem cells are the source of all tissues of the body, therefore understanding their properties is fundamental to our understanding of human biology in health and disease. In particular, stem cells offer the possibility of a renewable source of replacement cells to treat a wide variety of diseases. However, there are many ethical issues and debates surrounding using stem cells, primarily concerning the creation, treatment and destruction of human embryos which are considered unethical. Many consider the destruction of such embryos to be killing innocent lives. Up until the recent years, researchers mainly focused on Embryonic Stem Cells. However, since 2007, researchers have moved on to more ethical study methods, such as Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS), which is derived from a non-pluripotent cell, such as adult somatic cells. Yet many scientists believe that adult stem cells do not have the same properties as stem cells from a fetus. In the view of a scientific researcher on stem cells, better treatment of diseases could give significant social benefits for individuals and economic gains for society.  However, pro life advocates maintain that the human fetus and embryo is a person and has a right to life. Regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy deliver promises to extend healthy life spans and improve the quality of life, so becoming a vital component of the cutting edge of life sciences research and innovation. Therefore, federal government must reform its stem cell research policy and funding that is robust and comprehensive as well as cautious and principled.

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