More than half a million Americans die from cancer each year. Cancer is the second leading cause of death, after heart disease (“Cancer” 1). Stem cells are unlike any other cell in the body. Since stem cells have the potential to turn into any type of cell, stem cell research could be the answer to the mystery behind cancer and other diseases. Stem cell research should be federally funded because it can help cure and treat diseases, guidelines are in place to ensure it is ethical, and it is supported by most Americans.
Stem cell research is the key to treating and curing diseases. Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer's disease, type 1 diabetes, and spinal cord injuries are just a few of the conditions that doctors would be able to treat using stem cells (Sandel 1). Research has already been done on the subject and the results are promising. Several successful studies have been done on mice. One study was able to reverse the effects of heart failure in mice (“Stem cells” 3). Another study was able to restore movement in a mouse that had once been paralyzed (United States 57). Robert Lanza, a scientist at Advanced Cell Technology, led a private study on stem cell research with humans. Two women with severe vision loss were treated using stem cells. Both women saw improvements in their eyesight and will be undergoing further treatments (Medew 1). The United States should definitely increase its funding towards stem cell research because the quality of life can be improved for many people with the use of stem cells.
Stem cell research is ethical because there are guidelines in place. The National Institute of Health strictly enforces these regulations on all companies that participate in stem cell research. Sometimes embryos left over from in-vitro fertilization are used for stem cell research with the consent of the fertility patients. If those embryos were never going to be used, it would be best to use them to alleviate human suffering and save lives (Bothwell 2). There are also other kinds of stem cell research besides embryonic stem cell research. One other kind is performed on a type of stem cell that comes from body tissues such as organs, placentas, and umbilical cords. These are sometimes called somatic stem cells. While somatic stem cells are still very useful, they are generally not as versatile as embryonic stem cells. That is why scientists prefer to use embryonic stem cells in their research (“Stem cells” 2). The government should support all types of stem cell research because they are all beneficial.
Funding for stem cell research is supported by most Americans. According to a survey performed by the Charlton Research Company in 2012, 73% of Americans favor expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Of those opposed to funding stem cell research, most people say that their objection is due to their religious beliefs (“Stem Cell” 1). “If federally funded research proceeds, opponents may at least express their moral disapproval by opting out of participation in the research, donation of embryos, or utilization of the products of human embryonic stem cell