Embryonic Stem cell, also known as ES cells, are a pluripotent stem cells which are a derivative of an inner cell mass of an early stage embryo prior to implantation. This early-stage embryo is known as a blastocyst. Embryos of human beings reach this stage at four to five days after fertilization, where by it will consist of between 50 to 150 cells. The pluripotent cells offer the viability of having renewable source for tissue and cell replacement in order to treat different kinds of diseases like spinal cord injuries, burns, heart diseases, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis among others (TXT).
Ambassadors for moral argument on this harvesting of the cells point out that an embryo has to be seen as a person or a potential person from its embryonic stage. This is immediately after fertilization. The same way an infant is seen as human in its infant stage, so is the embryo should be, and accorded the dignity and respect that deserve a person (TXT). The argument continues that if there is no clear cut surety of whether an embryo is human or not after fertilization, then it should not be destroyed. Just as it is in a real life situation, if a hunter is not 100% sure whether the target he is aiming at is a man or a deer, he cannot shoot. By extracting some of its cells, an early embryo is denied its normal development as it is programmed to be, that is to be a human being (TXT).
Religious views differ from one religion to another. Christians believe that human life starts immediately after fertilization while Islam believe that ‘ensoulment’ occur 40 days after fertilization (TXT). The Jews do also hold this believe that 40 days after conception is the beginning of human life. Though they may differ at which point human life starts, all these religions view embryonic stem cell research as interfering with human life and goes against the teachings of their respective books (TXT).
In general, embryonic stem cell research need to be advanced if it offers a better alternative to better alternative to conventional disease. For example, having a cancer patient opt for stem cell replacement could prove to be less painful, less expensive and less time-consuming than to go through radio and chemotherapy sessions that would not give a guarantee to full recovery.