The Instigator
Maddie98
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Royal-Sovereign
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Stem cell research on all types of stem cells should be completely legal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Maddie98
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,464 times Debate No: 70461
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

Maddie98

Pro

The first round will be to establish acceptance, our position, and any basic definitions. Also, in the very last part of Round 3, rebuttals may be made, but the last person cannot provide new points. I will be Pro for this argument and my opponent will be Con.

Stem cell research is the study of stem cells to provide us with medical information about early human development and stem cell differentiation. Stem cell research also has the potential to cure numerous different incurable diseases, but there is a lot of controversy due to ethics and other factors because of how embryonic stem cells are obtained. They are obtained by extracting stem cells from an embryo, and may result in the embryo being destroyed. Stem cell research should be made completely legal (on every type of stem cell).

Stem cells are cells with the "potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell (1)."

Differentiation is "the process by which a cell becomes specialized in order to perform a specific function (2)." Stem cells and differentiate into almost any cell type within the human body.

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(1) "Stem Cell Basics." Stem Cell Information. National Institutes of Health, U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, 7 June 2012. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.

(2) "Cellular differentiation." The American Heritage" New Dictionary of Cultural
Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 21 Feb. 2015.
Royal-Sovereign

Con

I would like to accept this debate.

I will be arguing the position that stem cell research is fundamentally wrong and that we should not be playing God.

Over to you
Debate Round No. 1
Maddie98

Pro

Thank you for accepting. I will be taking a scientific approach to this argument.

First, let's establish a basic definition of what a disease is. A disease is "a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment (1)."

Many people suffer from incurable diseases all around the world today, but what if we could find a potential cure for these through stem cell research? I believe that stem cell research should be legal to practice on all stem cell types because it can provide us with valuable medical information, there are multiple different stem cell types that we can study, and because many excess embryos from in-vitro fertilization go unused or are wasted.

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Before I get into my main arguments, I will briefly address the three main arguments behind the opposition of stem cell research on all types of stem cells.

The first main argument is that scientists are not certain stem cell research will provide us with many cures to incurable diseases. Just because we are not certain that it will provide us with cures, doesn't mean that we shouldn't try though.

The next main argument is that it could create problems with overpopulation around the world. This argument is invalid, to a point, because the majority of the diseases that could be cured are not terminal.

The last main argument against stem cell research involves ethics, and whether an embryo is life or not. According to an article in TIME magazine, "an embryo used in stem-cell research (and fertility treatments) is three to five days past conception. It consists of a few dozen cells that together are too small to be seen without a microscope. It has no consciousness, no self-awareness, and no ability to feel love or pain (3)." In a way, an embryo at this stage could be compared blueprints to a potential human life.

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First, I will be talking about the valuable information that stem cell research can provide us with.

http://www.youth-restored.com...

When looking at the diagram above, you can see that there is a lot of information that can come from stem cell research. The first thing it could provide us with is safer medications. Many new medications are tested for safety on rats. On occasions, medications may not affect a rat in negative ways, but it could cause a complications within a human. Testing on differentiated stem cells can provide us with safer medication testing because we can test these medications on human cells developed from stem cells. This could lead to the avoidance of having new medications that end up harming a human when it didn't harm a rat. "Cultures of cancer cells are already used for screening cancer drugs, and growing embryonic stem cells into heart, liver or nerve cells could be useful for testing drugs that affect those organs (4)." This shows that small amounts of stem cell research is beginning to improve our methods and effectiveness of medicinal treatments.

The second thing it can provide us with is information on early development and stem cell differentiation. "Studies of human embryonic stem cells will yield information about the complex events that occur during human development. A primary goal of this work is to identify how undifferentiated stem cells become the differentiated cells that form the tissues and organs (5)." Studies on early development and stem cell differentiation can help us learn how to prevent birth defects and even potentially prevent cancer from developing (since cancer is when cells can"t stop dividing).
The main thing that stem cells can provide us with is cell/tissue transplantation. According to an article by Guido de Wert in the Oxford University Press, stem cells can be stimulated to differentiate into any type of cell needed for a patient, then it can be transplanted into their body to repair damaged cells or to replace cells that have lost function. Diseases that can be potentially cured from this are: diabetes, Parkinson"s disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer"s, spinal cord injury, and many others (6). As you can see, a lot of the diseases that could potentially be cured are not terminal, but could enhance a person's life if treated.

The last area on the diagram above is a blank box because, to put it simply, there is so much more than the things I have covered that stem cell research could provide us with that is still unknown today.

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Next, I will be talking about the different types of stem cells that are available and how successful they are. In the past ten years, scientists have been finding new ways to obtain stem cells for research. Until recently, scientists primarily worked with two kinds of stem cells from animals and humans: embryonic stem cells and somatic (adult) stem cells. In 2006, researchers made another breakthrough by identifying conditions that would allow some specialized adult cells to be "reprogrammed" genetically to assume a stem cell-like state (5). The chart below will show the effectiveness of the three types of stem cells:

http://www.lifelineskincare.com...

While we can study different stem cells that are not from a human embryo, this chart shows that human embryonic stem cells are the most effective in research. Human embryonic stem cells should still be used though because they are the most effective in research (like I stated before), and because scientists believe it is wise to continue research on all types of stem cells so that we can obtain the most accurate information.

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Lastly, I will talk about how many excess embryos from in-vitro fertilization go unused or are thawed. The main reason that people oppose the use of human embryonic stem cells (specifically) is because it could potentially render it incapable of growing into a human being. This is an understandable argument, but many excess embryos are wasted or killed either way. Instead of wasting these embryos, we could use them for stem cell research.
When a couple has excess embryos from in-vitro fertilization (and they don't want anymore children), they have ultimately four options on what to do with them:

1.Donate them to another couple.
Many couples don"t choose this because they cannot bear the idea of their biological children growing up in another family and out of their care.
2.Thaw them (discard).
3.Donate the for stem cell research.
4.Store them.
Many couples end up storing the excess embryos indefinitely because they can"t decide on what to do with them, or because all other options are undesirable.

In a survey of around 1,000 fertility patients who had excess embryos, 53% didn't want to donate them to another couple, 43% didn't want them to be discarded, and 66% actually wanted to donate them for stem cell research. The majority of these parents weren't allowed this option though because their clinic didn't allow it as an option (7). So because of this, many embryos end up getting frozen and stored indefinitely until they are unusable for anyone and have to be discarded. Also, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology went around to U.S. fertility clinics and counted that around half a million embryos (and counting) were being stored in 2002 (8). If this many embryos are being wasted, shouldn't we use them for a purpose through stem cell research?

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In order to take steps toward curing incurable diseases, we must continue stem cell research on all types of stem cells. Since there are half a million (and counting) unused embryos in storage, we should give them purpose by using them for research. If we could potentially restore a person's ability to walk, why shouldn't we take the measures to do so?

Back to you, Con.

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(1)"Disease." Def. 1. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
(2)Kinsley, Michael. "The False Controversy of Stem Cells." Time. Time Inc., 23 May 2004. Web. 23
Feb. 2015.
(3)"How Can Stem Cells Advance Medicine?" Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, n.d. Web. 22
Feb. 2015.
(4)"Stem Cell Basics." Stem Cell Information. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, 7 June 2012. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.
(5)De Wert, Guido, and Christine Mummery. "Human Embryonic Stem Cells: Research, Ethics and
Policy." Human Reproduction. Oxford University Press, Apr. 2003. Web. 9 Feb. 2015.
(6)Parker-Pope, Tara. "Deciding the Fate of Frozen Embryos." Well. The New York Times, 08 Dec.
2008. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.
(7)Mundy, Liza. "Souls on Ice: America's Embryo Glut and the Wasted Promise of Stem CellResearch." Mother Jones. July-Aug. 2006. Web. 9 Feb. 2015.
Royal-Sovereign

Con

Royal-Sovereign forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Maddie98

Pro

I'm disappointed that my opponent hasn't provided me with an argument. I was really looking forward to this debate but it already seems to be over. Seeing as my opponent has provided no argument, I have nothing to debate. If my opponent doesn't forfeit next round and adds an argument with evidence, I ask you to disregard it, seeing as I would have no way to respond to his argument (and because if he does- he really should have presented his argument this round).

To summarize my argument above-If stem cell research can provide us with potential cures to diseases/impairments such as spinal cord injury, diabetes, or Alzheimer's, why shouldn't we USE the excess embryos that just get wasted and give them a purpose? If they didn't get the opportunity to become someone, then we should make sure that there was some purpose for them.

Thank you :)
Vote Pro! (when the time comes)
Royal-Sovereign

Con

Royal-Sovereign forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Maddie98 2 years ago
Maddie98
@Conspiracyrisk
No problem :)
Posted by Conspiracyrisk 2 years ago
Conspiracyrisk
Okay, thanks for the explanation.
Posted by Maddie98 2 years ago
Maddie98
@Conspiracyrisk
My beliefs on the matter aren't religious, just whether I believe if it is life or not (which is an ethical issue). The reasons why I think it should be legal are mainly based off of science, not religion. If that is what you are asking.
Posted by Philocat 2 years ago
Philocat
@Liberals, well that's not exactly true, a human embryo is biologically alive due its accumulation of negative entropy.
Posted by Conspiracyrisk 2 years ago
Conspiracyrisk
Can you tell me if your beliefs on the matter are religious?
Posted by Jupiter1 2 years ago
Jupiter1
Tempting, but no
Posted by Liberals 2 years ago
Liberals
The elimination of one human embrio, which is not even LIFE, could save countless lives if you were to legalize this. It's a worthy sacrifice.
Posted by Chuz-Life 2 years ago
Chuz-Life
"This debate seems to be about whether the ends justify the means. We know that the ends (cures for diseases) are very desirable, but can we justify the means? (destruction of innocent human life)."

Nailed it X2!
Posted by Chuz-Life 2 years ago
Chuz-Life
"As long as the embryo is murdered so that other people can live and become healthier it's ok. Just like abortion it's ok if it benefits peoples health or saves their lives"

Nailed it.
Posted by heil 2 years ago
heil
Hitler's eugenics program is good. :)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Lee001 2 years ago
Lee001
Maddie98Royal-SovereignTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
Maddie98Royal-SovereignTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ff several times.