The Stem Cell Controversy: Debating the Issuesby Michael Ruse (Editor), Christopher A. Pynes, Christopher A. Pynes (Editor)
Recent advances in medical research have shown that embryonic stem cells can be used to treat some of the most debilitating diseases, notably Parkinson's Disease, spinal injuries, and nerve-cell damage. Yet the troubling ethical downside of this promising technology is that up till now the main source of stem cells has been tissue taken from aborted fetuses. This practice has raised sharp criticisms from opponents of abortion who charge that science is attempting to capitalize on a procedure that to them is abhorrent. Proponents of stem-cell research argue that scientists are making legitimate use of already-aborted fetuses and it is unfair to deprive those suffering from serious diseases and injuries of a potentially revolutionary therapy. The issue has become so important that in August 2001, President Bush addressed the nation on new developments in stem cell research and the ethical dilemmas this technology poses.Philosophers Michael Ruse and Christopher Pynes have compiled this excellent collection of articles that examine all aspects of this challenging new area of science. They explain the scientific research, explore the medical promise that it offers, and present the many sides of the ethical, religious, and policy debate. The contributors-scientists, medical practitioners, philosophers, theologians, historians, and policy analysts-offer a variety of perspectives, thus giving readers the critical tools needed to come to an informed individual decision. This important resource will be useful and accessible to educated readers with no prior knowledge of this contentious issue.
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