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Bioethical Disputes: simple essay on explaining a concept

TESE 1 / 2  
Apr 29, 2009   #1
This was supposed to be a simple essay on explaining a concept:

Bioethical Disputes

Do humans have the right to 'play god'? Is there a limit that scientists should acknowledge in their studies? Some people would agree, while some would not. The morality of the advancements in biology and medicine can certainly be questioned. However, will there ever be a conclusion? There are many disputes that are involved in the biological field. Stem cell research is one example of a current dispute. Euthanasia and Institutionalization are other examples of current disputes. Stem cells are cells that have the potential to refurbish themselves, thus making an organism have the ability to regenerate its tissue. People tend to disagree with stem cell research because it involves the human embryo, therapeutic cloning, and preimplantation. Euthanasia is a more debatable topic, however. Euthanasia is the act of terminating ones life, especially when the person is ill or in critical condition. Is it moral to end one's suffering, or is it moral to let nature take its course? Institutionalization is when a person is forced to stay in a certain location and follow specific and strict guidelines. In the U.S. today, many people are questioning the ethicality of stem cell research, euthanasia, and institutionalization.

To start the production of a stem cell today, the procedure requires the use of one of these two options. Scientists can either choose to terminate a human embryo, or use a process called therapeutic cloning. This has led to a controversy in the U.S. today. Many people argue that a human embryo is a life, and deserves to live. These people are for the 'pro-life movement', as opposed to the supporters of stem cell research. Stem cell research supporters counter-argue with hope. There is much hope that this research can lead to excessive medical importance. Contrary to the termination of human embryos, therapeutic cloning is the process where the human embryo is encouraged to grow for approximately fourteen days before its stem cells are extracted to develop an organ. It does this by growing with a human tissue or organ. Using its stem cells, it can transform into an organ or piece of human tissue that could possibly be transplanted into a human. This is not complete termination of an embryo, but many can argue that the embryo is not fulfilling its 'destiny', by growing into another human being. However, there is an alternative that may satisfy both opinions of the dispute. Processes called Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (commonly referred to as embryonic screening or PGD) are procedures that are performed on embryos before the implantation. According to Princeton University, Implantation is the organic process whereby a fertilized egg becomes implanted in the lining of the uterus of placental mammals. Tests using embryonic screening can generate a line of stem cells without developing the actual embryo. Stem cell research has certainly thrived recently, but it's up humanity if this act would be considered a moral procedure. Many disputes are still being held today. The termination of a human embryo, therapeutic cloning and preimplantation are all possible procedures that can lead to a medical breakthrough in stem cell research, but keep in mind there are other controversies being held besides stem cells.

Euthanasia is defined as the taking of a life, either by the request of the patient, the patient's family, or for the patients benefit as determined by others who are empowered to make that decision. Voluntary Euthanasia is a terminal patient's choice to spare them suffering. Non-Voluntary Euthanasia is when a patient has not given any permission or consent. Intentional Euthanasia occurs when the patient is killed through Euthanasia by Action, or Euthanasia by Omission. Euthanasia by Action is when the patient is lethally injected. Euthanasia by Omission is when the patient is intentionally not given the necessary nutrients the body needs to survive. Euthanasia raises many questions for many people. Oregon and Washington are the only states in the U.S. where euthanasia can legally be acted upon. However law makers in other states have refrained from allowing euthanasia because there is fear of patient abuse. Supporters of euthanasia affirm the government is allowing inhumane suffering by not permitting euthanasia. However, the laws remain in place to protect the patient who has not, or cannot make their wishes clear.

Institutionalization requires the complete control of people so that the institution can operate efficiently to their standards. People are institutionalized in asylums or prisons based on their behavior. The people running the institution attempt to reprogram the occupants to follow the institutions specific rules. In the asylum setting, many people disagree with this because the institution doctors are controlling their lifestyle, and changing the way they think completely. However, in a prison setting, this structure may lead to a beneficial outcome for the person and also for society.

Stem Cell research, Euthanasia, and Institutionalization are only three common bioethical disputes that are being discussed in the U.S. today. The question of, "what is right and what is wrong" can only be answered to an extent. The morals of biology are speculative. Stem cell research can lead to a medical breakthrough, but many people are saying it's just wrong to disrupt human DNA. Euthanasia supporters are screaming for change, while the law makers stand firm with the law. The views on Institutionalization can vary based on personal beliefs. Ethics will always be a valid question as we discover new biological advancements.
brood910 5 / 14  
Apr 29, 2009   #2
hm very nice essay there.
I think you need more examples to support your thesis.
OP TESE 1 / 2  
Apr 29, 2009   #3
Ahh thank you.
3 wasn't enough?
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Apr 29, 2009   #4
Did you pick this topic, or was it assigned? If you have any degree of choice, I'd strongly suggest picking one of the issues you touch on and writing an essay entirely on that. You could easily write several essays on euthanasia, or stem cell research, or institutionalization (not sure how this is a bioethical dispute, btw), so trying to cover all three in just one paper is asking for trouble. If you have to be that broad in your approach, though, try to identify common threads that unify the issues. So, for instance, respect for life versus respect for freedom underlies euthanasia, stem cell research and abortion debates. This allows you to touch on several issues while discussing a single concept in detail.
OP TESE 1 / 2  
Apr 30, 2009   #5
It's a dispute because many people in the world today are debating on those common topics. I understand that my topic was broad, I realized that after i turned it in. I think I would of been better off staying with only 'Stem cell research', and talk about that dispute. What do you mean identify common threads?.

Thanks for your input.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Apr 30, 2009   #6
Well, Sean's example was a good one: "respect for life versus respect for freedom." That is a "common thread" among many different issues. It can make it so that your essay is about one, overarching concept.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
May 1, 2009   #7
No, I meant I don't understand how institutionalization is a bioethical dispute. Sorry, I guess the emphasis wasn't clear in the original. Identifying common threads means just what it sounds like -- find things that various bioethical disputes have in common. Try to determine if the same principles underlie many of the disputes you are aware of. That way, you can talk about several issues while still focusing more narrowly on a single principle.

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