Should Stem Cells Be Used For Cosmetic Purposes?

Pablo Hanono , Staff Writer

Stem cells are the most basic cells of a human; they can be implanted into a specific region of the body and can be used to regenerate damaged cells. This also enables stem cells to regenerate non-essential cells such as collagen: the protein responsible for keeping the skin supple and free of wrinkles. In the quest for eternal youth, high-income individuals have hailed stem cells as the next big thing to rid their skin of imperfections. The issue arises when companies and independent organizations that receive stem cell donations sell them for use in plastic surgery clinics rather than in hospitals. This is a clear example of an industry in its infancy that has yet to face any regulation due to bureaucratic inefficiency. Stem cells should be dedicated to the most critical circumstances first, as cosmetic uses for them would be a waste of a valuable and innovative treatment.

Diabetes, Alzheimers and severe burns are just a few of the afflictions that stem cells have been found to treat more effectively than conventional medicines. With so many uses and more to come, stem cells represent a cutting-edge solution that requires legal protection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to announce any investigations into what the future of laws relating to stem cell use will be. When an individual applies for a drivers license, they are asked whether or not they would be willing to be an organ donor. Stem cells could eliminate the need for the government to seek out organ donors and can help treat millions of individuals. This cannot be done, however, without tighter regulations on what stem cells can be used for. If stem cells could potentially be used to treat diseases like cancer, cosmetic uses must be strictly limited.

“The government must act quickly regarding stem cell use. Because of legal loopholes, not enough people are getting the stem cells from organizations who supposedly help people,” senior Keyshawn Felton said.

If an individual decides to use their own stem cells for cosmetic purposes, then it should be within their right to do so. Similarly, if an individual willingly decides to give his/her stem cells for use solely for cosmetic purposes, it should be allowed. Excessive regulation on the use of stem cells could be seen as an overstep of government power. By restricting stem cell use to individuals in critical condition, it represents a violation of the individual’s freedom to use them for cosmetic purposes. Moreover, an individual’s appearance may matter a great deal to them and a non-invasive surgery using stem cells could greatly boost their self-esteem and allow them to live happier lives.

“Stem cells represent the very best of human innovation. They should be able to be used for cosmetic and medical reasons. It’s easy to discard cosmetic surgery as vain, but even if a person has a mild skin condition, it could really impact their ability to live a normal life” senior Nikita Leus-Oliva said.

Stem cells are a hot-off-the-press issue that demands immediate attention from our government if its utilization is to become standard medical practice across the country. Without sound regulation in place, individuals going under the knife for beauty or for brains will be at risk.

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