Potential Impact of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 on Nursing Essay Sample
When President Bush announced in 2005 that he intended to oppose stem cell legislation such as the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, it awoke a storm of controversy concerning the fundamentals of stem cell research and produced a confusing intertwining of moral and legal values. However, the legislation was widely favored in Congress, and is supported by the medical/scientific community for a variety of reasons.
It is fairly common knowledge within the nursing profession that stem cell research is the next frontier in the combating of birth defects and hereditary disorders. There are many unanswered questions in this field, which scientists feel may be able to be answered by increasing the scope of stem cell research. What many members of the general public do not realize is that the legislation under consideration by Congress does not involve the legality of stem cell research, but instead involves whether or not federal funding will be made available to companies engaging in the research. Private companies are able to conduct the research currently, however it is extremely expensive and would benefit greatly with federal aid.
If the legislation is not made into a permanent reality, it is very likely that the American nursing community will be at a disadvantage as companies overseas are subsidized by foreign governments, many of which have no limitations on the federal funds that may be used to support stem cell research. While this might prove to be minutely beneficial to the private sector, for the vast majority of those involved in the nursing profession, this would certainly impact negatively. As well, if large companies specializing in this variety of research move overseas, the economic impact on nurses, and all involved in the medical professions, could be extremely dramatic, and not positively so.
It can be argued that the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act will have a much greater effect on doctors than on nurses, and an even greater effect on research scientists. However, one can be certain that all aspects of the medical profession will be affected. If the act is signed into law, the nursing profession can expect to gain several thousand jobs, and also gain the satisfaction of being able to offer more options to patients afflicted with apparently incurable diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. If the act is not signed into law, the reverse is expected to happen—the nursing profession may lose as many as several thousand jobs, and the said incurable diseases will remain so, with little chance of making breakthroughs without the means of stem cell research. Because the very essence of the nursing profession is to offer their patients medical care, when a large option such as stem cell research is made unavailable, or at the very least much more difficult and expensive to obtain, it directly affects the job in a negative way. The medical profession can expect patients who have found hope in the promise of stem cell research to turn to private research companies and foreign doctors, which may result in an even more profound economic impact on the nursing profession.
While nurses must decide themselves as to their position on the morality and ethicality of stem cell research, all should recognize that if enhancement legislation is blocked, the profession will be affected adversely. Obviously, the nursing profession does not currently hinge upon stem cell research, but as it is the next new important field to be explored, it is certainly in the best interests of nurses for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act to be fully passed and maintained.