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Human Embryos in Stem Cell Research: Yes or No?


I'm gathering information for my next assignment which is a debate, and I don't want all of the information to come from articles.

It would be a GREAT help if anyone would be willing to state whether they

A - Agree


B - Disagree.

And then explain why.



Well I'm sure you will get much better answers than this, but I will give you my unscientific 0.02.

Agree completely.

1. Stem cells can be used to grow various organs & human tissue. If stem cell research continues as it is, then donating organs will be a thing of the past. Some of the things stem cell therapy can greatly help with or cure: Spinal injury, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and more. If you just look at how heart disease and diabetes is growing throughout the world then I think that alone can justify using human embryos.

  1. Embryos do not have a brain, therefore they cannot sense pain and have no consciousness.

Overall though no amount of god hippies are going to be able to stop the progress of stem cells. It's going to happen and there in not much point in debating it.
Hope this helps.


Thank you :slightly_smiling: Exactly my own opinion.

Scary thing is there are people in my class (A preperation course for nursing and medical proffesions) who believe its wrong because "God" wouldnt like it.


Well if deliberately killing innocent humans for the benefit of others isn't a negative, I don't know what is. Turn human life into a commodity to be created, bought and sold for others, and human life will ultimately be treated as such. Stick to non destructive means.


Cheers for the input


An Embryo is not a human. It is a potential Human.

It has no brain or developed organs.

I dont see how its a problem using discarded in-vitro embryos as a source to harvest embryotic stem cells.

Surely thats a great use. They would only get flushed down the proverbial toilet and wasted otherwise.


No, it is a human. It is already part of the human life cycle. You understand that it is already an individual organism? I'll assume so. What is that organism? A cat, dog, human, alien chest-burster? I'll assume you know it to be human. So it's an organism (life), and it's an individual (own DNA, own life cycle), and it's human. Human life. Therefore, stem cell research/procedures that destroy embryos (or prop up the destruction of embryos) necessarily involve the taking of human lives. You are the same individual organism that you were in the womb. A different organism didn't magically become the you organism at some fairy tale moment. Same organism throughout your entire life cycle. If you want to save lives don't create them for destruction.

Edit. Gametes show potential, an embryo is already moving along an individual human's life cycle.


I know what an embryo is. And I see your point and respect it. I just dont consider it to be a Human.

In my mind, it is something that has the potential to develop into a human.

Lets agree to disagree on the above point.

now, what if this embryo is discarded from an IVF clinic? either way that embryo is going to die. Surely you can't see it as a bad thing that that embryos stem cells could go towards research that could potentialy change medicine and change lives.

Although in my research I read an interesting article explaining how adult stem cells are not as crap as first thought.
Maybe they could try more ways to make adult stem cells pluripotent. that would skirt the whole ethics issue nicely and be a win-win

By the way I hope embryos dont turn into alien chest bursters!


Even if it's only human cells, as opposed to an human person, the ethical/moral problem still exists.
the mass production and the commercialization of human flesh is not morally neutral nor harmless.

if you think it's ok to do it because it could cure the diseased, would you be ok to do it to feed the hungry too ?
and if not, where is the difference ?


Don't hide something. I think abortion should be legal, but its certainly killing a human. Potential human is merely a semantic exercise. It is a very grave decision for almost anyone that has ever done it it trivializes it a bit to say well they weren't human anyway.

I'd be careful of a utilitarian argument to the greatest good. This is what you are asserting by saying more good will be done by using aborted fetuses than simply discarding them. This leaves you rather wide open to some pretty big counters.


Ok, but using Human Cells VS using a Human "person" - I take it you mean an embryo, is totaly different.

How does medical advancement parrelel to feeding the hungry. Are the hungry Zombies or cannibals?


I'm not talking about an aborted foetus. Im taking about using a discarded embryo from an IVF clinic.
what is the harm in using something that is just going to be discarded? especialy if it is going to work for the greater good.


so if I don't consider you a human, I should be able to kill you. sounds good to me.

How do we define what level of human is acceptable to kill.

ARe you one of those bleeders, that says it is illegal to abort puppies, but humans who cares.

But back to the original topic, I have actually performed stem cell research while working for a blood derivatives company. We used cord cell and unterine lining menses cells with deliveries. We desinged media and bags for diferentiation of the cells into tissue and organs. We had much more success than anything you can do with an embryo.

It is amazing seeing the differentiation, the final product, all in a bag and from the birth of a living human.


the problem with what you are asking is most of those clinics do not inform mother,


I'm not one of those bleeders :S dunno where that came from.

But thats the point. I am human.

I know an embryo is made up of human cells, and I know its alive. I just cant percieve it as a Human being. I see it as something that could turn into a Human. I'm also not trying to pussy foot around the fact that taking the stem cells from it is going to destroy the Embryo. Are embryos conscious? can they feel?

As callous as it is, surely it's just as callous to discard it when it has potential to help with so many problems facing those who are suffering from problems that embryonic stem cell research could help.

Taking embryos without the mothers consent is a disgrace and I don't believe it should be done, neither do I believe embryos should be made purely for the purpose of research, but essentialy an embryo that is going to be discraded could be put to good use without being wasted.

I believe it would be better if we could use stem cells collected from elsewhere - if - they can produce better resulsts without the ethical dilema underlying the use of embryos.

What you done sounds very intersting, although I understand the concept of it, i don't fully uinderstand it.

Do you think you could maybe send me some links so I could find out about it?


I think one of the great misconceptions is the whole "taking a human embryo" thing. They're not--from what I've read--taking a human embryo that's supposed to enter gestation. During artificial insemination, multiple inseminations are attempted but only one is kept. The rest are kept in deep freeze (or whatever the term is). THESE are typically discarded--I assume after the female has had a successful birth--but some are donated to stem cell research. This means that these embryos would've been destroyed anyway, because that's how it typically works in fertility clinics. The benefit is that they go to science so that stem cells can be derived from them. You're not "taking a life." More righty BS.


Do you recall what the term is for a stem cell that can convert to any cell vs. ones that have a more narrow range (if it's even a range) of what they can convert to?

From what I read, the embryonic stem cells are the most manipulitable (I can't write today, but you know what I mean), whereas adult stem cells (I think we all carry stem cells, even as adults) are less likely to be morphed into specific cell types, and are therefore less useful.

Please correct me if I'm wrong?


Please remind me as to the vast number of individuals who are alive today because of Embryonic Stem Cell research.

Hint - the number has never once changed since the technologies inception. Adult Stem Cell research is curing many of today's terminal diseases.


Ok, I'm not denying adult stem cells are usefull and have more ptential than was earlier aknowleged.

But from what I have read, embryonic stem cells have so much more potential as they are pluripotent (They have the potential to turn into any cell in our body) whereas adult stem cells are much more limited. If I'm wrong please correct me, because I don't allude to having in depth knowlege on this subject. but from the research and reading I have done I have found out that embryonic stem cells have ALOT more potential.

Even if embryos are to be considered people (which I still disagree with) the chance to use discsarded embryos should be jumped at. The Ethical problem for me would be when embryos are created purely for the harvest of stem cells.


Exactly my point. They are going to be discarded. Why not put them to a good use?

Yes, from what I know, embryonic stem cells are pluripotent - they can potentialy become any cell in the body. Adult stem cells have a narrower range thus making them less usefull (they are very usefull though)


Do you not see how you've detoured around your moral objection to creating embryos for stem cell research? "Oh yeah, that's horrible. Don't get me wrong, I would never to agree to something as monstrous as that. So let's create them for other reasons, where most will be destroyed by being discarded or used for stem cell research." Basically...Why did you even bother objecting to their creation solely for stem cell research? The question is, if it's monstrous, why are we doing it all?


I disagree with generating embryos for any reason. That doesn't mean I am against embryonic stem cell research though. It's that I am against creating life for that purpose. If you obtain an embryo from a miscarriage or something to that effect, then I am okay with using it for research rather than just disguarding it. Granted it's rare to obtain it from natural events but tough shit. I don't give fucking with human life a lot of wiggle room.