Embryonic Stem Cell Research Should Get Federal Funding or Not
Stem cell debate dominates the expert media today with little contribution coming from the public domain. The incumbency of the thoughts by the learned public alone has resulted to a skewed way of thinking about the technology that is meant to be a major milestone in the life of human beings. Notwithstanding, the advancement toward science seems to be borne on the dilemma of whether or not what is ethical should be followed despite the loss of benefits that would otherwise be derived from the use of stem cell technology in solving human health problems. There is a precise boundary for the schools of thought that make the majority of the public consider the technology as unfit on moral grounds. Indeed, some religious factions have affiliated the technology to blasphemy arguing that it is one way of attempting to prove that science can trace the creation of human beings and other creatures. The need for funding for the schools of thought considering the technology as beneficial also remains a controversy emanating from the debate of wrong or right concerning stem cell research.
The split in thought between the lay and the learned professional makes the implementation of the stem cells technology difficult if not impossible considering that the lay fraternity is the bulk of the consumer body for the technology. Would this be as a result of lack of a well defined platform on which the two grounds can be brought together to find a common ground on the matter, there would be less to worry about among the lay community as the experts reconsider their application of the technology to serve the public consumers better. This forms the need for a constructive oriented scientific conference through which the deliberations would be checked and balanced for both sides to come up with a moderated and fine-tuned decision regarding the use of stem cells. In this regard, the way forward on the best methods or faster one for achieving the applicability and utilization of the stem cells technology can be found including the means of funding that can be from the federal government. Having considered the technology immoral has been hindering the possible developments toward achieving complete consensus on the way forward (Levine, 2009, p. 681). When the lay fraternity agrees to use the technology, there would be immediate need for their demands to be met which must be countered by sufficient production of services in line with the increasing demand.
The eminent hope in the use of the embryonic stem cells is the most important reason scientists insist on furthering the course despite public outcry that considers it unethical. There would be better and efficient therapies by use of the technology. Yet, nations have been supporting the public domain in restricting the practice of the stem cell technology in many various ways (Wert and Christine, 2003, p. 672). Ethical dilemma is pegged on the moral confusion of whether or not it is right to have the technology practiced. Bu unless theses confusions are cleared there would be little support such as federal funding for the programs of stem cell technology. The skewed debate has been taking the points of the benefits of the technology which is basically in line with the other medical breakthroughs of alleviating suffering or in some instances acting to prevent the onset of such sufferings while also respecting the human life as an integrity center that does not require to be violated or abused thereby reaffirming the value of natural human life. However, the fact of the matter is that it is almost impossible to draw a line that moderates or observes respect for moral principles. This is due to the nature of the technology which does not only build human cells but also destroys it. For instance, older cells of the types of the cells are destroyed before the new ones are implanted. This is a form degeneration of life and so is the unethical aspect. Many non-experts have been backing discontinuation of the research on this ground. This fights for dominance with the positive ethical ground held by mostly the experts that the technology is beneficial for all humans (Kilner, J. F. 2009, p. 721-2). A choice of what to follow between the two poses the dilemma and confusion.
The dilemma has eroded the symmetric view in this topic and the so there is complete loss of the constructivist views of science (Baldwing, 2009, p. 299). This has been common among the non-expert fraternity. One though has been arguing that there is moral in the technology from the time the fertilization onwards. The human morals are said to be conceived at this time. This is asocial consideration that tends to use scientific physiology as a basis. Yet, opposing the same science onto which it is based. This has been hampering the ability to legalize such research and so is federal funding. The truth that there is divided opinions on the criteria for when to say a person, cell or fetus has become an entity that holds and requires the expression of humane treatment is a debate. A constructivist analyst would argue that while it is a fact that the process from conception makes a person and so needs the due respect given to an individual, there are aspects such as lack of structural integrity including physiological and emotional constructs that makes a person. This eliminates the protection requirements that hinder the type of life from use in other means in order to facilitate relief of human health. Also, it is considerable that there would be no new human from an embryo without the vessel which is human being in the nature of mother carrying the zygote. Therefore, removing the component contained in a person for the benefit of another person into whom it is transferred on used need not have any outcry on moral considerations (Skene, 2010, pp. 211-244). The projection that because it would become a person it needs to be treated as such from the beginning is false.
Religious fraternity that seems to uphold the immoral views on the stem cell technology is the most difficult to break. The radical nature of the values embedded in such religion as Christianity and Islam make the followers of the immorality domain so immense that it is almost impossible to convince the numbers to accept the truth that the benefits of the technology is indeed a way of furthering human integrity and morals in the long run. However, relaxed opinions of the other religions such as Judaism and Islam that gives a time lapse of about forty days before the embryo becomes an entity makes it possible to have the gains of the idea penetrate into such groups of persons for universal acceptance of the technology. These same religious bodies are convincing that any course meant to preserve human life is approvable yet denying that stem cell technology is one of these milestones (EuroStemCells, 2011).
It is not completely impossible to have an ethical stem cells research as demonstrated by the California Stem cell Urgency (2011). This agency has been funding the same type of research considered impossible on the ethical grounds in a manner suggesting the morals values are adhered to at all the stages of the research. Through the Californian Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the agency has taken the research like any other that must conform to ethical codes and considerations. CIRM funded research is given conditions that ensure that the ethical integrity is upheld no matter the level of controversy that might exist at the time of the research regarding the manner and purpose of the study. This enable the agency initiate and carry on with researches such as that of stem cells without violation of any principle of ethical practice in research. This should form evidence for public confidence in the stem cell research among the public. To maintain the standards all through, the research body has dedicated a group of embers who meet exclusively to deliberate on the subjects of ethical considerations in research.
Inadequate Constructivist of Current Public Discussions
Many scholars have elaborated the extent by which the federal government has gone ahead to take advancement based on own initiatives to fund the sciences such as that of stem cell as demonstrated by Burgin (2010, p. 73) which stars from the understanding that There is much gain from such efforts than losses. Burn give a follow up of the national government administrations of Bush and Obama comparing what the federal governments did in the respective regimes and realizing that the limitations posed by the earlier administration led to immense reactions form states such as California that decided to have its own state funding for the stem cell research after a complete ban by the then president Bush. Politics is shown to be divided over the right and wrong and so deferent geographical regions perceive the problem in different manner as shown by the research by Burgin. However, these administrations would be appealing to one school of thought on stem cell research while displeasing another. The view of common ground is not sought. Instead, authorities seem to have their wishes imposed on the public. The state of California shows an example of what should be happening in the event of a controversy. The state-wide voting that enabled funding for the stem cells projects is a show of political democracy in controlling technology and scientific development activities. Lac of political objectivity and observation of the due process makes it non-symmetrical analysis of the matter (Cantwel, 2002). It would be good to have a forum through which the administrations and the subjects come together to decide in one voice the need and extend of funding that should be going into the stem cell research to reap the benefits of the technology in time thereby relieve many of the burdens of diseases and disorders related to stem cells (Jading, 2009, p. 744).
There are persons who hold the same viewpoints of conservatism traditions seen as means of intimidating the milestones that would be in the best interest of the public. As Michael Mintrom (2009, pp. 606-631) explain, such views were observed to be rooted in the administrations of Bush that led to state-wise decisions that forged a kind of rebellious decisions to have own funding for the stem cell research. In Washington at the time, Mintrom reports that there were evolutionary reactions to the deemed conservatism administration that led to the economic backwardness seen by many regions of the United States. It was a shift of the goal post from the nationwide consideration of technological liberation to a state. Scientific progress was to be made on the search for remedies for problems of humans and funding had to come from somewhere to meet the huge financial needs for the stem cell program. The challenges in the decisions pertaining policy making for the controversial issues such as these are expected to continue and a better method has to be devised to reduce the amount of time wasted in the process. An effective way of addressing the divides is by having a comprehensive scientific conference through which all the views can be constructively be formed and designed to line with the needs of the population and make it easy for a progress to be actualized in embryonic stem cell research that would then pave way for federal funding. After this elaborate consultations, there will be grounds of both economical and ethical bases upon which the decisions will be mounted (Majumder, 2009, pp.2050-2051). Confidence will be restored among the public on the technology and so support will be automatic. This would mean that the resources scarcity hitting the research will be sorted giving the human race a chance to have many of its medical and health problems solved.
Public discussions are seen to deliberate on the topic with same skewed opinions as of the government administration. Observation of the national and state government are seen to have taken the opinion of the lay and the religious fraternity that technology can be used to violate ethical values and so does not need to be considered as part of development agenda. This makes it impossible to fund the program of such technology in a large scale basis of a government form that is more concrete and with the required resources to actualize the operations of such research. Embryonic research is seen to have had mile stones that the federal government has contributed little to until the dawn of policies and regulation on the topic (Streifer, 2008, pp.40-47). The process itself is seen to have not favored the topic for more than a decade (before and during the Bush administration in United States) until the enactment of the embryonic stem cell research (Karch, 2012, pp. 48-62). It is in the interest of the public to have the research on the embryonic research completed to start reaping form its benefits to health. Yet, the politicians who are supposed to be in the fore front in leading the way to the beneficial needs of the people were lead to lag behind creating blockades on the way to the realization of theses benefits. This is not just a matter of irony but a show of lack of constructivism in the topic. While the political fraternity is concerned with the delay tactics in the process, scientists are regularly and continuously renewing the concept of embryonic stem cell research to add value to the outcomes as described by Davila, Thiede, Strom, Miki and Trosko, 2004, pp. 220).
Need for Better Deliberation on the Topic
Existence of the discontentment emanating from the current debates on the topic calls for a need of more and better way of addressing the problem. This deliberation would be possible when all the stakeholders in the search are included in the system of decision making rather than the current persons and institutions that are engaged currently and that have shown inadequacy in holistically setting the controversy (Tanne, 2009, p. 618). A consensus conference proposed herein is a way of reaching the goal of single purpose that would see to it that federal funds are channeled toward the worthy course of enhancing health of the needy populations. While a congressional attempts have been used and seen as means of including everyone in the policy making, it does not actually streamline the root causes of the discords that mar the way forward in exploring the technology of embryonic stem cells. Many other aspect of the issue is only possible to surface when all are included in the research policy framework concerning funding. McCain (2009, pp. 48-68) demonstrates how limitations forced into the debate has fueled public outcry to be more actively involved. Discrimination is seen to occur when the public ids restricted from having their voices heard in a more comprehensive and organized manner to achieve the milestones of health and technology that would be of benefit to all. The deliberation that has been found online has been reinforced the view that the topic carries more emotions of political nature that can be part of the solution but the manner in which the debates are carried out leaves the problem unsolved (Owen-Smith, Soctt and McCormick, 2012, p. 720). This is not the best way to find remedies for weighty issues such as this. A platform that entails a concensus conference that is proposed would act more efficiently to iron out the disgruntlement and settle the matter once and for all. The body of knowledge that has been synthesized herein would form the basis of concrete scientific arguments that incorporate religious and social viewpoints to have a common point.
A constructive consensus conference of the nature that incorporate collection of opinions from all willing individuals and not just representative will be effective in bringing out the fears held by the population which is the consumer of the technology and then letting their needs meet the rewards of the embryonic cell science outcomes to reevaluate their positions and decide with informed consents. Duroy (2009, pp. 831-842) describes that the use of Instrumental validation principle is the way forward in aligning the needs of the schools of thought s to one purpose. This framework is seen as a way of breaking loose from the confinement of the higher and leaned fraternity that usually tend to impose knowledge on the lay and the public. The skewed thoughts of the experts will be countered by the innocent reasoning of the lay community to adopt a common balance from which both can share same vision. An environment that does not foster deliberation of issues such as these is killing itself from within. The manner of putting across one’s opinion rests on the medium put to use and the body of the message. The media used in conveying opinions about the topic has ever been free from authentication thereby leading to leakages of notions rather than concrete ideas into the debate resulting to more confusion and dilemma than before. The content of the message also has been left to the mercy of the sources most of which are invalid and incredible (Roher, B. 2010, p. 477). These points signify the need to have deliberation forum that is going to have the check and balances enforced so that integrity, credibility, validity and authenticity are enshrined into the discussion. Elites from all filed and dimensions of life need to be checked even more than the rest so that there is no spillage of individual persons or institutional interested that confound the results of the deliberation process. To affect this requires that experts who are neutral are selected and made to preside over the opinion submission, integration and synthesis for accurate results.
Consensus Conference Methodology
Consensus Conference proposed will be marked by a comprehensive inclusion criteria that would have the lay members of the public incorporated into the idea contribution on the embryonic stem cell research. A committee will be selected of about ten individuals who will oversee the exercise. There will be stations for reporting by the general public and the information from the citizens will be recorded and reported after the exercise. Citizens will be invited to apply by use of media. These will include the internet social cites and the postal mails. Also, public campaigns will be done to create awareness and mobilize the public on the topic. A representative number of the population which is not to be less than 25% of the total population will have to be reached as a minimum thresh-hold for the opinions (Gastil and Dillard, 1999, pp.3-23). This number will be calculated for each state and distributed equally by both geographic boundaries and population densities. This will need to be the done at the time of planning particularly community mapping for the exercise.
A panel of citizens will also have to be representative of the total population. There will be two weeks for preparations of the information collection. This will be a vital stage in familiarizing the panel with the required information and the recording procedure. The panel will take its time to familiarize also with the documents on the literature saw ell as the nature of the opinions expected. There will be one week for the actual information collection. There will be a dedicated time when the public will ask questions and the panel answers. This will be the best part of the exercise which will clear doubts, enhance understanding and correct misinterpretations that the public may be having. The public will then have their views compiles and presented as own opinions with recommendations to the relevant bodies and entities concerned with policy making. There will be a session also for the public to meet the policy-makers and deliberate in the opinions enshrined I n their final document (Gastil and Dillard, 1999, pp.3-23).
A consideration for the benefits of the embryonic stem cell technology that take into account all the ethical aspects as well as political and economic dimensions need to be spelled out before the onset of a consensus conference. The conference offers a platform for which many schools of thought can put forward their evidences to enable them incorporated into the final decision that would be binding for all parties concerning federal funding for the controversial stem cell research. Given the health benefits that have been brought out and the gains to the nation, it is of utmost important to have such consensus. There have been confusion or dilemma on the issue of whether or not the research should get the federal funding or not yet there is eminent reason to have the study completed which includes the need to have relief on health of persons who can be assisted by the technology.
The views of the social and cultural factions are to be persuaded to change in order to have one course that is forged by all concerning embryonic item cell research. The capacity of the state governments to fund this course proves that the federal one would be able to have even more ability to have the program completed within the shortest time possible so as to start gaining from it. The need for the common ground is to quench the longing for remedy to the diseases and disorders that have been overburdening the governments and he citizens alike. Proclamation of freedom from the diseases must start from a unanimous acceptance that the research is worthy, needed, and so must be supplied through research studies. The Government of inclusion such as that demonstrated by California should be practiced nationwide to widen the involvement of common citizens in the policy making process for stem cell research rather than having the elites dominate the arguments fielding only interest regarded by the lay as personal and greedy at the expense of morals. A combination of the two groups in the society than the form of a consensus conference is vital in achieving the technological goal of embryonic stem cell research.
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