Embryo stem cell research has been on dual edge sword; on the one hand, it has immense potential to treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes. On the other hand, since it involves embryonic cells, some people believe that it is unethical to carry over this research as it kills embryo cells or human life. Obama administration approved funding for embryo stem cell (ESC) research, but today US district court issued a temporary injunction. Obama government and scientist involved in the research are planning to appeal, whereas people on opposition of the research are celebrating.
Judge Royce Lamberth passed a ruling that restricted tax payer’s money to fund ESC research. There were lawsuits filed against the new guidelines passed by Obama government, which gets the green signal as per ruling from Lamberth. President Obama lifted a ban on funding for stem cell research in March.
How many ECS programs could be affected by the ruling?
The officials acknowledged that the experiments under process could continue. But if the ruling is upheld, the government will be forced to suspend $54 million in financing for 22 scientific projects by the end of September. In addition to that 60 projects are at risk of loosing funding.
But Judge Lamberth had another view on the issue and said an injunction would not “seriously harmthe embryonic studies because it did “not interfere with their [researchers’] ability to obtain private funding for their research.”
What do critics of ECS research say?
The critics of ECS research, including some Christian groups were against the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Their argument is that the research involved destruction of human embryo and the new plan to increase funding to NIH violated US law.
What does ECS involve any way?
This is the information from NIH website, as they say from horses mouth “Embryonic stem cells, as their name suggests, are derived...
from embryos. Most embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in an in vitro fertilization clinic—and then donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors. They are not derived from eggs fertilized in a woman’s body.”
Points to Ponder
Doesn’t information from NIH mean that the cells are actually cultured in the laboratory, off course from the real person’s eggs? If a women voluntary wants to donate its eggs for the research why would that be wrong? Just imaging how many women go for abortion due to unexpected pregnancy or pregnancy at very young age. If these women want to donate “real” embryo egg for the research, would that be wrong?
We are talking about diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc, which continue to threat human life or quality of human life. Why would you want to stop such research, especially if there are volunteers that want to donate ESC for the research?
I do understand that the research might be exploited and some people might do research unethical way, like without the consent of a person using their egg. Courts and Government should put a control on that, but promote the research that can improve quality of human life.