In recent years there has been a lot of research into stem cells and their uses in today’s medicine. Although stem cell collection and storage for your own baby has become a trend since we’ve discovered its uses for healing after cancer treatments, it still hasn’t caught on to the more sceptical in the nation. Why this is, is most probably down to stem cells being considered controversial. Below are a couple of controversies about stem cells and both sides of the argument.
Collection from embryos.
Stem cells are considered controversial because they can sometimes be collected from aborted embryos. One argument is that some people don’t agree with abortion at all and that the aborted embryos should be treated with respect as it is still human life. The other opinion is that by using these stem cells, which would otherwise have gone to waste you can save many people’s lives who may be suffering from diseases and illnesses such as cancer.
Stem cells can also be collected from cloned embryos. This only occurs if a patient is undergoing medical treatment and their body is rejecting stems cells from a donor as their body won’t reject stem cells with their own genes. This is called therapeutic cloning and happens when a clone is made with a patient’s genes to create an embryo and the stem cells are collected from it. This type of stem cell collection is incredibly controversial as it brings up all sorts of questions about meddling with science. The fact that the embryo has to be destroyed once stem cell collection has taken place can anger people too. Destroying an embryo can still be considered murder as it can be viewed as destroying a human life. The other side of this argument is that this person will die unless they are given this treatment. The stem cell collection from the cloned embryo is taken from a blastocyst, an early stage embryo with approximately 100 cells. The embryo would not have a good chance of survival anyway as the cloning process isn’t perfected, for example it took 227 embryo attempts to create dolly the sheep.
Collection at birth.
They are also considered controversial because stem cells are collection at birth of a baby from the umbilical cord’s blood. Some speculate that this can interfere with the birth, that it takes important blood away from the baby and that it hurts the baby. This isn’t true as the stem cell collection is taken place quickly and painlessly straight after the birth. The blood is collected from the umbilical cord after it is clamped and cut from the baby so instead of the umbilical cord being discarded straight away the blood is collected for stem cell storage instead. As the cord would have been separate by mother and baby by then the process doesn’t hurt either of them. Taking the stem cells from the birth of a baby will give that child a greater chance of getting over an illness of disease that it may develop later in life.