The Assorted Views on Stem Cell Research

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Author: Adekola Taylor
June, 2015

Introduction

Stem cells may have immense contribution to medical but stem cell research is rocked with various arguments characterized by both social and ethical questions. The human embryonic stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the potentials to self-renew into virtually all the cell kinds in the body of adult human. This annotated bibliography is to review some of the diverse views on stem cell research by summarizing some of the evidence based research that have been published by well-established institutions, researchers, relevant newspapers, and professionals who are authorities on the subject.

Annotated Bibliography

  • Gibbs, Nancy, Alice Park & Dan Cray. Stem Cells: The Hope and the Hype. (Cover Story).Time 168.6 (2006): 40-46. Web. 28. Apr. 2015

This paper explains the politics driving the stem cell research and the unresolved debate related to ethical and social issues. It explains how President Bush announced the willingness to release federal money to researchers working on ESC lines with a clause that no new lines should be created using federal funds but with times the funding was frustrated to the point that the lines became outdated becoming almost irrelevant to medical research. The paper also explains how individual institutions ventured on developing new lines and the hunting for new solutions that would raise less or no ethically troublesome issues. The authors also considers the promise and the pitfalls of using adult cells in stem cell research since they raise less or no ethical issues.

  • Galpern, Emily. Beyond Embryo Politics: Women’s Health and Dignity in Stem Cell Research. National Women’s Health Network. Center for Genetics and Society, May/June (2006): pp 1-4. Web. 28. Apr. 2015


The author believes that policies should be established to protect the health and dignity of women who may want to participate in stem cell research by providing their eggs. Furthermore, she is of opinion that ethical and medical protections for women participating in stem cell research should be established by government to ensure thorough medical follow up and long-term medical coverage and to prevent adverse reactions due to egg extraction. She reiterates that commoditization and exploitation of women by paying them should be prohibited. She concludes her article by pointing to the fact that the course of stem cell research should be shifted in order to maintain genuine commitment to women’s health and dignity.

  • Annas, George. Governing Biotechnology. Global Agenda Magazine, Center for Genetics and Society, February 13 (2006). Web. 28 Apr. 2015

Annas George pinpoints the governance structure that must be adopted in the stem cell research regulation in order to avoid violation of ethical and social orders by taking into consideration both public and private institutions. He further explains that no individual scientist or corporation has the moral or social warrant to alter or endanger the human species. With the trend of increased terrorism, some engineers may turn out to be bioterrorists and this may be a new way of developing the most powerful and dangerous biological weapons of mass destruction. The author advocates the development of a global and ethical oversight structure for stem cell research regulation that must be all-encompassing in incorporating the public, non-governmental organizations, industry and representatives from governments.

  • Annas George J., Andrews Lori B & Isasi Rosario M. Protecting the Endangered Human: Toward an International Treaty Prohibiting Cloning and Inheritable Alterations. American Journal of Law & Medicine, 28 (2002): 151-178. Web.28. April.2015


According to Annas George et al, biotechnology especially human cloning and inheritable genetic alteration provides an avenue for us to design our children and to literally change the characteristics of the human species which may lead to the production of one or more subspecies and super species that may lead to what they called genetic genocide. According to them, stem cell research may lead to new dimension in proliferation of potential weapons of mass destructions if not regulated. The authors support the fact that our greatest accomplishment as humans is not in our scientific achievement but in our development of human rights and democracy. The authors are of the opinion that international consensus to ban biotechnologies as that of the prohibition of the use of weapons of mass destruction should be supported by all citizens, countries and non-governmental institutions.

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