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Embryonic Stem Cell Research - In Vitro Fertilization

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In vitro fertilization and human embryonic stem cell research are two of the most popular and controversial topics that are being discussed today. Lee Silver, from the film defines in vitro fertilization as:

[T]ak[ing] the process of reproduction out of the darkness of the womb, into the light of the laboratory. And all of the sudden you can do anything you want with these human embryos and eggs, which couldn't be done before (Holt).

The real question regarding all of the varying opinions and controversy, is what is a human embryo, and what is human life? Other questions include the morality of embryonic stem cell research and is bearing children a right given to us by society? Further discussion of these question will entail why in vitro fertilization has a wide range of ethical and moral consequences.

Pro choice supporters conclude that an embryo is not a human life, but has potential to become one (Robinson). Therefore an embryo has no rights and is subject to whatever could benefit the human race. Human embryonic stem cell research gives society as a whole, the potential to gain medical knowledge that is imperative to the lives of many human beings. Couples that have underwent in vitro fertilization procedures, doctors that perform in vitro fertilization, and many pro choice groups believe that child bearing is a right granted to everyone. This must be true, if you consider all the time and money that is spent to produce children for infertile couples.

I and many pro life groups have a contrary belief regarding in vitro fertilization and embryonic stem cell research. The belief revolves around the same questions, what is a human embryo, and what is human life? Our belief is that human life is created at conception, therefore

a human embryo is human life, at its earliest stages. I have this belief because of by the fact that a

human being gets it's unique DNA makeup at conception. Since an embryo has an unique DNA

makeup and will become a different human being. An embryo is not just an embryo, just like a

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human is not just a human. All embryos are unique, and should not be subject to being discarded, which is a common disposal method for embryos. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance member, B.A. Robinson points out a logical connection about the amoral acts committed by Nazi Germany during World War II and embryonic research:

Experiments which subject an ovum to any significant risk are the ethical equivalent of the infamous medical experiments that were inflicted on unwilling and uninformed victims in Nazi death camps. Ends do not justify the means. Thus, no matter how helpful to mankind embryo research might potentially be, it cannot be done if the embryo is eventually killed or subjected to a significant risk.

Is having a baby a right for everyone, or is it a privilege? Is it ethical for a sixty three year old woman to give birth to a child well after menopause? Arceli Keh, from the film certainly thinks so:

I really lied about my age because they have this age limit of 55. So I think I will not qualify if I will not lie about my age. And I really want to have a baby (Holt).

She is an egoistic consequentialist, and is living her life with her own best interest in mind. She has negligently gave birth to a child that is un-doubtfully going to be an orphan at a young age. Couples that under go in vitro fertilization procedures feel that they have a right to create an embryo in a lab when we have millions of children throughout the world waiting to be adopted. I consider it feebleminded to take nature into your own hands, just so you can have a child with similar genetic qualities to yourself, when there are so many children who desperately want a family.

The future is hard to predict, but it is something that must be assessed. We are in the



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