I need some assistance with these assignment. moral permissibility of deriving stem cells from surplus embryos Thank you in advance for the help! One way to cure this disease is by transplantation of the pancreatic islet cell, the availability of the donated organs is very less for transplant. The stem cells if are induced to differentiate into functional islet cells in the lab, they may form a renewable source for transplantation, allowing this cell-based treatment to become available on a practical scale. (Mastroieni, n.d.)
“Recent reports suggest that one of the most promising potential treatments may come from the use of stem cells, undifferentiated cells that can be coaxed into becoming insulin-producing islet-like cells that reduce diabetes symptoms in mice.” (Mastroieni, n.d.)
Spare embryos, the principal source of embryonic stem cells, are the unavoidably surplus unions of sperm and egg produced in fertility clinics. The embryos are often stored for years and ultimately discarded (Wade, 1999). Then it should not be a problem to use these spare embryos as they will ultimately be discarded anyways.
One of the basic arguments for the moral permissibility of the use of these embryos are that the cost of destroying them is far less than the cost of the personal, social and economic costs of the diseases that these stem cells can cure. They can not be equaled to human life, even though they are living things. Some embryos do not even implant after conceived.
In some countries it is legal to have an abortion. here the embryo is anyways going to waste. It would be better to utilize these embryos for research and cures rather than just throwing them. Embryonic stem cells can treat a larger number of diseases because they have greater plasticity, and divide more rapidly than adult stem cells.
The embryo is taken before the primitive streak is formed. Until then it can be one individual which can separate into two and become twins, or it can be two embryos which can combine and form into one. Thus taking an embryo at this time does not account it as a human being.
The number of people affected by diabetes alone is 190 million people around the world. This disease can lead to death and serious complications are common. These stem cells have the ability to cure many diseases not just diabetes. Another thing to keep in mind is that if it were so wrong, the government would never allow research to happen on such things in the first place. Women who give their surplus embryos are not forced into doing so.
Rules can be introduced to control the process so that misuse of these embryos does not take place. One such law suggested by Louis M. Guenin is, “The government shall support biomedical research using human embryos that, before or after formation, have been donated to medicine under donor instructions forbidding intrauterine transfer.” This way the donor has full control over what happens with the embryos even after it is implanted into another human being.
The arguments against the moral permissibility of deriving stem cells from surplus embryos are that some of these embryos may be helpful during research but when used on actual human beings could be dangerous. Apart from this there may be genetic side effects because of manipulation.