Using Embryonic Stem Cellsin Therapeutic Research: ATheological Perspective



Stem cell research is a recent technology that has been discussed by the scholars from various disciplines since it has different Abstract of the 8th Royan International Twin Congress, Tehran, Iran, 5-7 September 2007 Yakhteh Medical Journal, Vol 9, Sup 1, Summer 2007 35 dimensions that relates to these disciplines. Although the scientists in the field of biotechnology argues that this technology will be used for the benefit of the society it requires the legal, ethical, and scientific issues associated with this research be critically addressed and articulated. There is a necessity to distinguish two different types of stem cells, namely adult and embryonic origin. It is generally believed that it is morally less problematic to use adult stem cells, whereas there are some concerns, especially from theological perspective, to use embryonic stem cells in reproductive and therapeutic cloning. In this presentation we aim to address to the usage of embryonic stem cells for therapeutic purposes, and will argue that it is not only allowable to use embryonic stem cells for this purposes but also there are moral imperatives to use them since there is not enough concrete evidence to justify discontinuing the research on stem cell research. We discuss the issue from a theological perspective with special reference to Islam.