Two humans are trapped in a burning building. One is a sweet child; the other, a mass of cells on a petri dish. Who ought to be saved? Such is the conundrum of embryonic stem cellresearch: these remarkable cells can save countless lives, yet their acquisition necessitates thedestruction of an embryo. While purporting to protect inviolable life, repudiating embryonicstem cell research effectively condemns millions to misery and demise for the sake of these cells.America cannot continue to deny its citizens the potential miracles of embryonic stem cells.Therefore, federal funding restrictions for embryonic stem cell research on new cell lines should be lifted in the United States.The opposition’s thesis is that research violates an embryo’s right to life. But the mere potential for life does not automatically equate to actual life, especially the life of a suffering patient. As Renee Saenger, writer for the Columbia Spectator, argues, “the majority of Americans will favor a cure for heart disease for a man whom they can identify with over aclump of cells that […] lack the experiences that define that which they know as life.”
Moreover, ascribing the 400,000 discarded embryos of
the same status aswalking, breathing persons is a fallacy: these amalgams at best remain indefinitely in suspendedanimation, their chances of growing into an infant infinitesimal. At worst, an embryo joins the8,000 to 10,000 that are destroyed annually.
Prohibiting embryonic research, then throwingembryos down the drain is grotesquely reprehensible. As a pluralistic democracy, America must provide for its citizens’ well-being, not enforce dogma. Ronald Green, member of the NIHGuidelines committee and director of the Dartmouth Ethics Institute concurs:
Erin P. George, “The Stem Cell Debate: The Legal, Political, and Ethical Issues Surrounding FederalFunding of Scientific Research on Human Embryos,” Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology 2002: 796,LexisNexis Academic, LexisNexis, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, 17 Dec. 2007 <http://lexis.com>.
Marcia Clemmitt, “Stem Cell Research,” CQ Researcher 1 Sept. 2006: 699, 18 Dec. 2007<http://library.cqpress.com>.