Is Human Embryonic Stem Cell (HESC) Research Still Necessary Today?
Given the promise of stem cell therapies, scientists throughout the world are conducting stem cell research using various kinds of stem cells including human embryonic stem cells (HESC). However, HESC research is very controversial in some societies as the extraction of stem cells involves the destruction of the human embryo. The ethical concerns of this kind of research have led scientists to search for other methods to derive stem cells that do not involve the destruction of embryos. These different types of stem cell research are said to sidestep the ethical dilemma associated with HESC research and so are considered as ethically acceptable ways to obtain stem cells; possibly, they may even mark the end of HESC research. However, each of these stem cell methods presents its own challenges, scientific and ethical, as this article explores. This paper examines the impact of the emergence of different types of stem cell research and discusses whether it is still necessary for scientists to conduct the contentious HESC research.
KeywordsStem cell research Embryo research Induced pluripotent stem cell research Comparative ethics
The author wishes to thank the editor and reviewers for their comments.
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