Stem cell research and cloning offer promising breakthroughs in the treatment of several conditions such as diabetes, myocardial infarction, and spinal cord injury. The research is based on the fact that young cells can renew themselves and form tissues. Scientists must, therefore, reprogram somatic cells to produce the desired organ before the cells cross the specialization and differentiation stages. To this end, this paper examines ethical issues associated with stem cell research and cloning.
Stem cell researchers might not accurately determine the right stage at which cells begin to differentiate and specialize to form organs for the purpose of introducing the anticipated DNA. For this reason, scientists can end up creating a chimera that is part human and pig. Still, researchers can create a chimera that is part sheep and goat due to experimental failures (Karpowicz, Cohen, & Van der Kooy, 2005). Experiments involving human subjects can, therefore, be catastrophic and evil if human characteristics are transferred to animals.
Stem cell research and human cloning face ethical condemnation because scientists destroy cells embryos as they perform experiments. Still, in experiments involving oocyte retrieval, women must undergo invasive procedures and risk infection, bleeding, and complications of anesthesia. The women also fail to receive a payment that can compensate the time lost in the experiment, as well as, the cost of undergoing induced complications (Lo & Parham, 2009).
Research involving human subjects should be regulated by institutions such as The National Institutes of Health because the studies have several ethical implications. Specifically, researchers must adhere to set standards because of the need to uphold human dignity when undertaking sensitive experiments. Further, researchers should uphold bodily integrity, protect the privacy of the participant, and autonomy (Kapp, 2006). As a result, studies involving human subject should present sound scientific justification why they must use human oocytes, embryos or human subjects. Still, institutional review boards should provide additional supervision on sensitive studies.