Stem cell research has a long history and has led to regenerative medicine, which has become more promising. Different types of stem cells are particularly a viable and effective treatment intervention for a variety of mild and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular conditions, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis (Goodarzi et al., 2019). Stem cells are obtained from various sources, including bone marrow, umbilical cord, blood, gem cells, and even fetus tissues. According to Goodarzi et al. (2019), “fetal stem cells (FSCs) and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have been described as the most potent stem cell source” (p. 11). Given their multipotent characteristics, increasing access to stem tissues is likely to heighten research in generative medicine and clinical applications of embryonic stem cells.
However, research on stem cells, particularly fetal tissues, should be banned because it is likely to escalate abortion cases. Particularly, many people may derive encouragement from this trend to procure therapeutic abortion and justify this act by claiming to make stem cells available for research and clinical application to serve a positive public good. This argument is valid because abortion remains illegal in many countries, including the United States. In many jurisdictions, pregnancy can be terminated prematurely only if the mother’s life is in danger or the fetus has serious abnormalities (Goodarzi et al., 2019). Furthermore, women who consider abortion are still facing numerous ethical and moral barriers. Such legal and ethical requirements prohibiting abortion discourage prospective mothers from ending pregnancies prematurely.
Consequently, allowing research on embryonic stem cells will encourage more women to donate their fetuses for clinical studies, leading to more cases of abortion. From an ethical perspective, this practice may cause harm to patients and even compromise their dignity (Doherty & Purtilo, 2016). Although increased research on stem cells will improve generative medicine, the practice is ethically and morally wrong because it leads to pregnancy termination. Therefore, there is a strong case to ban research on embryonic stem cells to discourage unjustified abortion.
Doherty, R., & Purtilo, R., (2016). Ethical dimensions in the health professions (6th ed.). Elsevier.
Goodarzi, P., Falahzadeh, K., Aghayan H., Payab, M., Larijani B., Alavi-Moghadam, S., Tayanloo-Beik, A., Adibi, H., Gilany, K., & Arjmand, B. (2019). Therapeutic abortion and ectopic pregnancy: Alternative sources for fetal stem cell research and therapy in Iran as an Islamic country. Cell and Tissue Banking, 20(1), 11-24. Web.