Alternative Treatments for Conditions or Diseases

Why is adult stem cell research less controversial than embroyonic stem cell research

Most likely because embryonic stem cell research is often associated with another controversial social issue– abortion. Some (but not all) embryos used in stem cell research have been donated for research, but the donors are clinics which perform abortions. Also, even in cases that did not involve abortion, such as excess embryos from fertility clinics, some opponents of using embryos believe life begins when an egg has been fertilized, so therefore, the embryo represents human life, and to destroy any embryo to do stem cell research is thus immoral. Although not everyone agrees that a fertilized egg is the same as a human being, the pro-life community has been very vocal in opposition, keeping embryonic stem cell research mired in controversy.

On the other hand, extracting adult stem cells does not require destroying an embryo nor does it affect a fertilized egg, so some pro-life supporters feel it is morally preferable to use adult stem cells for research. Unfortunately, adult stem cells are not as helpful to utilize in research because they cannot do some of the things that can be done with embryonic stem cells. Thus, this too is controversial, as scientists and researchers believe they are being hampered in finding cures for diseases because of the religious beliefs of certain people who oppose the use of embryonic stem cells.

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