First of all, in the scopes of this research paper, it is important to rely on the notion of cloning. Cloning is the process of copying DNA fragments creation, cells or organisms creation. In the scopes of this article, the additional attention would be paid to cloning in stem cell research.
It is important to be aware of the fact that human stem cells isolation has caused a set of tensions between the two major ethical commitments – human life protection and disease curing. Some people consider that it is not acceptable to use stem cells from the already dead fetuses (after abortion). And others consider that it is a well-established and effective medical practice directed for the donor tissue from cadavers.
The team from the University of Wisconsin has made a conclusion that the spare embryos used in fertility clinics are a controversial issue. Approximately 16,000 of embryos are created in clinics annually. Majority of these embryos are deemed unsuitable for the transportation to mothers’ wombs. That is why they are stored in nitrogen liquid and discarded eventually. At the same time, using these embryos for stem cells obtaining implies the embryo direct destruction. This action is considered as expressly signed out in accordance with the congressional funding ban (Knowles, 2009).
There is the probability that stem cells discovery may have more than one profound meaning due to the fact that the glimpse for the human life offered by practical application of stem cells is the simplest possible form of its usefulness. The microscopic clumps of cells are seen in the days-old embryos before the rudimentary nervous system is developed. In addition, these cells are capable of resembling awareness achievement. The cells may grow into specific parts of the body-brain, skin, kidneys, etc (this mechanism is still unknown). In addition, stem cells may replicate indefinitely in the laboratory, and in such manner, the potentially endless source of replacement tissue may be obtained. In practice, scientists have already seen the transformation of stem cells into the bundles of breathing heart muscle, into hair, teeth and even into the clumps of nerves.
At the moment, the only weak point is the fact that scholars still have not figured out the way how a particular part of the human body may be obtained from the stem cells. Also, it is still unknown whether the ‘created’ parts of the human body will not be rejected by the patients’ immune system (Bettelheim, 1999).
After the cell culture securely direct development is completely investigated by the scientists, the possibility of the “disease in a dish” development would occur. That means that the cell culture, including the brain cells only, would be created. As an evident example of the “disease in a dish” practical application, it is possible to consider prevention of the Parkinson’s disease – when the required amounts of dopamine are not produced by the patients’ body. Such disease-in-a-dish cultures would be tested clinically on animals (Clemmitt, 2006).
It is important to put an emphasis on the fact that there are such patient advocates of the stem cell research who have elected for remaining silent until the experiments’ outcome and the political debates reach the level of being clear. The American Cancer Society has pulled out of the Patients Cure coalition, it has been done reportedly while applying the disagreement with the internal policy tools. In addition, the organization has got the letter from the Cardinal, where the cancer society has been asked to reconsider its membership. The pressure from the Roman Catholic Church been declined by the officials, and they have declared their decision as to the one which has been mainly influenced by their own issue analysis. In addition, they have said that in the future, that decision would issue the policy statement at some point of its development.
It is important to refer to the opinion of some anti-abortion groups and of Catholic theologies. They oppose the usage of taxpayers’ money for such research. They support their opinion by the evidence that life is destroyed by scientists in order to advance their research areas. Those critics of the stem cells research who consider that life begins at the moment of conception content such research. At the same time, it is important to emphasize the fact that the same moral status is provided to the distinct entities as humans have. Researchers are criticized for playing up stem cells biological qualities while less attention is paid to the methods, which are applied for extracting the cells from the embryos.
Human life is considered by the Roman Catholics as the continuous progression, which starts at the point of a single cell and ends at the point of death. Therefore, Catholics are against the stem cell extraction from the aborted fetuses or from the spare embryos for the fertility clinics. They consider that the executors of the extraction process are making destruction, which is equal to the killing of a human being (Family research council, 2011).
Also, the Catholic Church has a skeptical attitude towards the designating the embryos, which have passed a certain stage of development and have been considered as arbitrary.