Embryonic stem cells are cells that are found in living things and can regenerate and grow into other cells. This they do them by growing and repairing inside their host so long as the host is still living. These cells are known to be taken from 3-5 old embryos of blastocysts. Their major source is unfertilized in vitro eggs and they are acquired from donors who permit the cells to be used for research. These cells are crucial for they are used for many things. Some of the uses include; getting information on cell development and as an ingredient in the creation of drugs that cure diseases such as cardiovascular and diabetes.
1. considered lifeless: Many specialists argue that the embryos used for this research should not be viewed as persons. The reason being the embryos have not taken any human form that is they do not possess any physical and psychological properties that make them resemble a human being. Besides they also argue that the embryo has not been implanted in the uterus therefore cannot be regarded as human and the fact that their survival rate is very narrow and therefore they are not to be considered as living persons at any time.
2. Offer many medical possibilities: The stem cells are known to be undifferentiated that is they can be used in all parts of the body and can cure very many diseases. Their ability to cure as many diseases results from the fact that the embryonic stem cells can be used to generate other cells.
3. Progress in cancer research: Specialists conclude that the embryonic stem cells are very similar to the cancer cells which makes it easy to study them. Besides, their study since they are the same as the cancerous cells will help in the development of cancer drugs and other treatments.
4. Easily available: Most of these embryos can be attained from specific in vitro fertilization clinic centers. Many types of research have been made possible due to the availability of embryonic stem cells.
5. Flexibility: The major advantage of embryonic stem cells is their ability to create many more cells. This is useful in the making of drugs as well as treatment of some illness and lastly best used in research to find medication for other diseases.
6. The central nervous system is not formed yet: The embryo at the time of harvest is around two weeks which means that the nervous system has not yet developed. It is at this stage too that specialists also can’t tell if the embryo is to develop into a fetus. This justifies in a way that since these embryos do not have senses yet, that means it is okay to harvest them and use them for research.
7. Harvested from unused embryos: Consent from donors is the key to the harvesting of the stem cells. Some people may think it’s unethical because of using fertilized eggs but since consent is involved that outweighs that thought. This should be seen as an act of good faith since it is the usage of embryos that were to be disposed of to create medical treatments.
1. High rejection rates: Most of the already done tests with the embryonic stem cells show that some embryonic stem cell therapies have resulted in too many health problems. It has been proven that the cells have been rejected severely as some of them do not respond as intended. Some of these cells have caused major impacts such as causing tumors.
2. Difficult to obtain: A lot of things are required to ensure that the embryonic stem cells are obtained, some of these include the fact that one has to wait for the embryo to grow in culture and several other months for it to fully mature to the stage where now it can be used.
3. Uncertain long-term side effects: Most of the treatments done with the embryonic stem cells are risky in such a way that the specialists are not certain of any future risk and how dangerous they could be. At the moment only short term benefits are enjoyed and research to show the long term side effects are still underway.
4. Harvesting requires the death of an embryo: Obtaining any embryonic stem cell requires one to get rid of the life within an embryo. This has brought ethical issues of the obtaining process despite the advantage that is brought about by the research.
5. They are expensive to obtain: The process of obtaining the stem cells is very expensive as it is estimated that harvesting an embryonic stem cell may cost $2,000. The therapies also ae as costly and this is available for only people with the ability to afford the medical service.
6. Difficulty in differentiating specialized lines: The process used by specialists to create the embryonic stem cells is insufficient.
7. Causes tumors: This is brought about by the extraction of the embryonic stem cells of undifferentiated culture which are prepared for tissue transplantation. This also can lead to the development of cancerous cells.
8. Risk of female donors: Female donors who consent to give out their embryos risk getting sick. Most of the research done however has shown that most of the donor’s consent to giving out their embryos rather than see them being discarded.
In conclusion, embryonic stem cells have been used by scientists to research on possible medications of cancer since the cells resemble the cancerous cells. The generative property of these cells gives them their unique advantage over other types of stem cells. A lot of debates have been done due to the thought that an embryo is a living thing and using it for the experiment would be inhuman. This, however, has been countered by the fact that people voluntarily give consent for their embryos to be used and the uses for the cells are for improving humanity rather than causing damage.