Halted research may be detrimental to millions

By Stephanie Saviola

Several weeks ago, a Federal District Court Judge of the District of Columbia issued a temporary injunction on the Obama Administration’s policy on human embryonic stem cell research.

Shortly after taking office, President Barack Obama signed an order to allow federal funds to be used for research on embryonic stem cell lines that were originally created since 2001—a breakthrough in the medical world since the days of former Bush administration’s policies.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than $546 million has been spent on stem cell research since 2001. Without being able to continue projects and research, the money and any progress that was made toward lifesaving treatments will be wasted.

Many researchers are claiming this would set their progress back almost a decade if the ban remains intact.

People suffering from cancer and life-threatening illnesses are going to be the only ones who are truly harmed in this process, not the potential lives that could come from these embryos.

Human embryonic stem cell research is a highly controversial topic in society, along with the abortion and the pro-life, pro-choice debates. This is largely because the stem cells are used from embryos that have been developed from fertilized eggs. However, the eggs are fertilized only through in vitro fertilization. Adult cells come from tissues and organs, things that are often donated for research.

Many critics of embryonic research—a large number of them are religious organizations—are in favor of the usage of adult stem cells for research, but adult stem cells do not provide the same benefits as embryonic ones do. Stem cells derived from discarded embryos are more versatile for research than adult stem cells.

Adult stem cells are of far more limited research value than embryonic stem cell which hold more promise against diseases and neurological damage such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Science and religion continue to clash on ethical dilemmas in research.

While obtaining them may seem cruel, and I agree it is, embryonic stem cells provide far too many benefits to people in need. To discontinue the use of embryos for research would only hinder us as a society that is constantly on the brink of cures and treatments in the medical world.

Breakthroughs have been made in tumor medication because of research and testing done on cancerous cells that were a product of embryonic stem cell testing.

Though the outcome, no matter what, will leave one side affronted, it would be most beneficial to the millions who are sick and have been putting faith in the results of the research to continue with the studies and testing of the cell lines.