The ongoing ethical debate between whether the experimentation on embryos is ethical or not is still in the news today. A recent example of this issue is in the tv comedy actress and cover girl model Sofia Vergara’s, over the case with her ex-fiance Nick Loeb on the custody of their frozen embryos. In our argument, we will not be focusing on the custodial issues of the embryos but rather on whether it is ethical to experiment on embryos, more specifically unused embryos. We believe that experimentation on embryos is not ethical nor morally correct, due to the fact that an embryo is a life, it is the beginning of life, the first few days of a future child, should they be subject to experimentation as if they just tested subjects and property? Human experimentation is unethical, correct? Why are embryonic experimentation and research any different?
An excess amount of creation of embryos may be the cause for this ethical issue. If couples did not create an excessive amount of embryos they wouldn’t have to decide on what to do with the unwanted ones. Maybe we should create a law similar to Italy’s where fertility clinics are not allowed to create more embryos than what can be implemented in the uterus in one time to specifically avoid this ethical issue (what to do with frozen embryos). If we implemented a law similar to this we don’t think that there would be an ethical issue with experimentation on frozen embryos because there would not be any surplus of embryos to use for experimentation. “….Law 40 banned any embryo testing for research or experimental purposes, freezing embryos, or embryo suppression.” (Article)
In late January 1996 president Bill Clinton signed a resolution to keep the government open, this included that the government could not fund research on human embryos. Even the past president of the United States of America agrees with us, although he found more of a midpoint to satisfy both parties.
“Opposition to the use of federal funds for research using human embryos is generally based on ethical concerns about embryo research, particularly related to the associated destruction of human embryos before or during research.” (Link). This brings the second part to the question and one of the key points to our argument. What does happen after the embryos are of no more use towards the experimentation? The disposal of embryos is just as appalling as the experimentation and research done on them.
Life begins at the moment of conception. Therefore the deliberate taking of a life could be thought as murder. The embryos are being thought of as commodities (item, material, product, article or object) and not life.
Many people argue that experimentation on these embryos can lead to a greater good, that these experiments and the research can lead to cures to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, but have we really seen any BIG results in the past 30 decades? No. We have seen just small achievements that have not been consistent in each case.
There was a court case in Tennessee in 1992 (Davis v. Davis) where Mary Sue Davis and her husband Junior Davis sought control of their seven embryos during their divorce. Mary Davis wanted to get pregnant after their divorce which Junior Davis objected to. The trial court came to the conclusion that the embryos were “human beings” from the moment of fertilization thus their custodial rights went to Mary Sue Davis the mother. This is another example of how embryos are considered as human beings.
We have presented information and opinions on the immorality and ethically incorrect issue on experimentation of embryos. You may contradict us in saying that we have not touched the point that the embryos to be experimented on are not wanted, we counter argue by saying that all life forms have the same rights, whether they are wanted or not they still are human.
In paragraph 2, you say that couples should not create more embryos than they need, however, people do this because the process of obtaining the proper sperm and egg cells is tedious, and the chances of a successful pregnancy is only 43% compared to natural pregnancies. Because of this, they create extra embryos just in case the operation does not work and they won’t have to restart the difficult and expensive process again.
Also, in the 5th paragraph, you reference the Christian Institute, which states religious beliefs and not scientific evidence.
Lastly, the picture displayed at the end of your blog is giving a false representation of what the embryos that are developed in labs actually look like. They have not been implanted into a uterus therefore, they can not grow or develop into a living baby. Correct representation of the embryos used for research: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwix44_elIDPAhWI2SYKHTEzB0gQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.debate.org%2Fopinions%2Fis-embryonic-stem-cell-research-wrong&psig=AFQjCNGFcOBMp-M_mPz693msSwdvuOm9Pw&ust=1473437531671164
Thank you Izzy and Sophie! We were not sure on how an embryo looks like because google was giving us contradicting images, but your link clarified our confusion. The campaign picture at the end is a banner in Italy, which ties back to our information on Italy. And we realized that we had put a religious link, which really does not strengthen our argument so we edited that, so thank you for that too. -Celeste
In your sixth paragraph you mentioned that no major developments had been made in stem cell research recently. An example to disprove this would be stem cell transplants to cure disease such as leukemia by transferring healthy cells to replace infected ones (https://www.lls.org/treatment/types-of-treatment/stem-cell-transplantation).
Additionally, as Isabella and Sophie mentioned, most in-vitro fertalization centers in the US will create more embryos than necessary simply because of the low chances of pregnancy associated with unnatural fertilization.
Finally, I would argue with your point in paragraph five that humanity begins at the moment of conception. While this may be more a matter of opinion, I would question if a single cell could be considered human life, especially since both sperm and eggs are discarded frequently and without thought when separate (male orgasm, regular ovulation in women) so why does this change simply because they’ve combined?
In paragraph 4, you site the AAP Gateway, for an article titled Human Embryo Research in the article, paragraph four states that “it is difficult to consider an embryo a distinct, developing individual” it also states that the early embryo, “before 14 days of development is not the equivalent of a fetus or person and, thus, may be used in research.” This is showing how the embryos are frozen before they can develop and be considered human.
Also, In paragraph one you mention the case between Sofia Vergara and her fiance, and i was wondering what the results of that case were. Also in paragraph one you ask why embryo experimentation is any different from human experimentation. First of all, the embryo is frozen and has yet to develop into a human, and many people who have extra frozen embryos already had a successful pregnancy with a previous embryo or is unable to have another child. That means that that particular embryo will never develop into a human being and will either be discarded or expire. If that embryo is going to go unused, why not donate it to help someone who is actually alive?