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Higher Persuasive Essay

When does life begin? For some, it is the split second pre-implantation occurs. For the rest, it is the beginning of new discoveries. Some of these discoveries being the research of stem cells from a human embryo. Embryonic stem cell research should be legalised. The reason behind this is because of the many therapies and treatments the pluripotent cells (meaning they can become all cell types) can create and the diseases and illnesses that can be helped or maybe even cured. The research can be used for other reasons such as the insight of human life and could be necessary for the future. The research is only carried out with consent of the donor and is done in vitro- ‘within the glass’- which means in a test tube and in a controlled environment.

The brain is an incredible thing. Unfortunately it does not always work the way it is supposed to. A recent report released by the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics states that 35.8% of those 85 or older have moderate or severe memory impairment. There are many more diseases that can affect the brain as well as memory impairment. This is where stem cells could and should step in. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative illness, it is the most common form of dementia. As of yet, there is not an effective prevention nor a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. In past years, stem cell therapy has been one of the most promising treatments. As said previously, the cells are pluripotent and would be used to restore patients’ motor function and repair parts of the brain and hopefully find a cure for diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Life is a precious thing. Like Alzheimer’s disease, that life you cherish can be removed in an instant. The phone call or the doctors appointment being told that you have a cancerous tumour, like many illnesses brings your world crashing down. As we all know, there is currently no cure for cancer, but stem cells could play a massive part in the treatment and if research was taken further, a cure. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the biggest cancer treatments used, during the attempt of destroying cancerous cells, your stem cells in the bone marrow as well as other cells are also killed in the process. Embryonic stem cells come into things when this happens. Embryonic stem cell research should be legalised, it would also legalise the use of stem cells to replace and help reproduce the stem cells destroyed in the therapies.

Why are so many people suffering from such catastrophic diseases if there is a potential cure? The simple answer is because of the destruction of a human embryo, which makes the process a point of controversy. But then that leaves the question, do we value a bunch of cells over the millions of lives we could save? The diseases stem cells could treat and most likely cure are things like Alzheimer’s and cancer- which we’ve already discussed- Parkinson’s, Neuton replacement, insulin production, arthritis and strokes, they can also help spinal cord injuries. The biology behind embryonic stem cells is simple really, the cells are taken from a donor and given to the person in need, never without the donors consent. Embryonic stem cell research is very high in cost, the therapy can be up to $10000. Because of this there are many sufferers who may not be able to afford the treatment that they desperately need. I

Although the wondrous things embryonic stem cells can achieve, many people argue the point that it is murder. Pope John Paul II said: “Experience is already showing how a tragic coarsening of consciences accompanies the assault on innocent human life in the womb, leading to accommodation and acquiescence in the face of other related evils, such as euthanasia, infanticide, and most recently, proposals for the creation for research purposes of human embryos, destined to destruction in the process. A free and virtuous society, which America aspires to be, must reject practices that devalue and violate human life at any stage from conception until natural death.” A lot of people compare this research and the destruction of the human embryo to an abortion. Embryonic stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst which is the structure formed in the very early development of a baby but is not yet an actual foetus. People argue that the research is “immoral” and “unnecessary”. People have already lived their life, an embryo hasn’t, why should we save someone to destroy someone? Is also often argued. Again this takes us back to the question of who we value more, does it not? Embryonic stem cell research should be legalised. If you value a life, that is not even a life yet, over millions that could be helped and saved, does that not make you immoral too? We can spend our time arguing this point, but as we do more and more people are left in misery due to genetic abnormalities and illnesses that are simply beyond their control.

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