It is a known fact that embryonic stem cells have raised a political controversy for about last two decades. This controversy has been regarding the use of embryonic stem cells. Many politicians claim that the scientists kill human embryo for the sake of their stem cell treatment. However, scientists have said that those embryos are the fertilized eggs donated by couples that have to be discarded otherwise. Little contribution has been made by the researchers of University of Nevada to resolve this dispute. A new dissertation has been done in this field named as Attitude of America toward human embryonic cell research.
The stem cell news was published in the journal of Natural biotechnology. The sample of the study was US citizens and sample unit was 2295 respondents. Some of the crucial findings of the study were as follows –
ü The therapeutic cloning is banned in USA. It implies the nuclear transfer of the genes of the patients. After the study it was found that about two-third of the people were there who were in favor of this cloning and only one in six did not give approval. They were found in favor of using stem cells for the treatment of cancer and heart disease.
ü Another finding revealed that there were about two-third of the respondents that approved of the new method. It involved the use of modified adult cells as an alternative for the embryonic cells if found effective to cure heart attacks or cancer. Fifteen percent and less than that did not find this beneficial.
ü About 43 to 47 percent approved for cloning and use of stem cells extracted from embryos and adult tissue to heal allergies. There were just one in four who said no to this but about 30 percent of the people had mixed answers. This shows that mostly people find such methods useful for less severe conditions.
ü The respondents were not in favor of reproductive cloning of humans, even not for the child who had died as the disapproval percentage was about seventy percent.
ü Moreover, people also did not find the stem cell research useful for the cosmetic purposes as half of them refused while quarter of them showed approval.
The most interesting part of the research as observed by a sociologist named Evans is that the respondents preferred their own opinion rather than concerning the views of church and several other authorities.
ü According to Evans, majority of the people, approximately two third of them prefer following own opinion to decide whether such treatments are right or not. The ratio of people who gave more importance to the Church rather than themselves was just 4 percent. Those who were committed Catholics found deferring to the church on such matters.
ü The outcome of the study was- in spite of the strong opposition by the Catholic Church there were a large number of supporters in favor of use of stem cells. Even among those who were in the disapproving group, churchgoing women were found to be more in favor rather than in opposition.
However, it was not a reliable approach to know public opinion regarding this matter. In its place, a systemic survey research could have helped more.
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