The whole of the human body relies heavily on the vital function of cells. They make up the organs and bodily systems on which our bodies rely. Therefore, the role of these microbes are integral to the continuation of life. Occurring in a variety of different forms, cells each have their own purpose in the life cycling of an organism. One such cell type, stems cells, have become a highlight of the science community, and have brought up arguments surrounding the ethics of their use, and their implications on human lives.
Stems cells, by definition, are immature or underdeveloped cells that have the potential to develop and take up the functions of other cells in the body. As mentioned in the paragraph above, each cell has unique purpose in its role, meaning that they are nuanced to that specific function and that function only. Brain cells are made to function for the brain, skin cells for the skin, and so on.
So what is to happen when these cells can no longer properly or sufficiently do their job? What happens is that individual begins to have medical problems when their cells are dying or dilapidated. As a result, and as is the case with any prevalent medical issue, doctors and scientists search for a solution- one of those being the medical use of stem cells.
You perhaps have heard vaguely of stem cells before in the sphere of politics. They have been a touchy issue for the religious and conservative, but this narrow thinking has been debunked (Stem Cell Quick Reference, 2014). The benefits of stem cell practices are clear, and the delutionalists who deny them are subtracting from those who may benefit. Regardless, there are restrictions that still exist to stem cell practices. Some people even travel internationally in order to have stem cell work done. People with leukemia, blood disorders, tumors, and other illnesses can benefit tremendously from stem cells.
Stem cells are experts at adaptation. Because they are underdeveloped, they have the potential to morph into and become integrated into almost any cell system in the body(Figure 1). There are, however, two different kinds of stem cells. They each have their own aspects of implication in the human body that differ from each other in a number of ways.
The first variety of stem cells is the ‘adult stem cell’. Some people disagree with the term ‘adult’ because they can occur in children in addition to adults. What these cells do basically is repair different body tissues by morphing into those cells in many organs, muscle, bone, etc., that have died or disappeared. These cells are extracted painlessly from a living patient in order to be used.
Second in the category of stem cells is the embryonic stem cell. It is this type that has caused the political strife and conversation over the ethics of the use of stem cells. The name should give clues to why. Embryonic stem cells come about from an egg cell that has started to divide, giving it its potential to become something else. People have argued that the use or manipulation of embryo is not right.
Cell reproduction is essential, so therefore stem cells can aid in continuing the production of cells that otherwise would not. The implications are wide and far. They could be used to repair and/or replace damaged tissue in the body, making for speedy recoveries. So if for example, you got a second degree burn in a fire, stem cells could potentially be used to repair and ‘re-grow’ the damaged skin cells. It is my belief that stem cells are beneficial, and their study and use should continue and not be hindered by invalid arguments.
From reviewing the above, one should realize the clear benefits of the use of stem cells in medical practices. It should be said that those arguing against their use usually do not have leukemia, blood disorders, or tumors. Why should they determine what others can and can’t use in their bodies, especially if it may save their life?
Also, many of the arguments against stem cells use are based on religious beliefs. You may by all means believe that these practices are wrong (though you have no credible reason for doing so), but you may not force your beliefs on others, saying that because you don't want to do it others can't either. Religion and unfounded convictions have no place in the public sphere, and hinder scientific progress.
Overall, the advantages of using stem cells for life saving practices outweigh the any negatives that may exist, especially since they are usually not valid arguments. Please consider the positive use of this medical function, and consider how it may further our advancements in science.
Basics of Stem Cells Research.
AMA American Medical Association. Retrieved from
Stem Cell Quick Reference.
LearnGenetics. Retrieved from