Stem cells offer the possibility of treating diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other diseases, conditions, and disabilities. But medical research using stem cells from human embryos is controversial, and many people don’t think this type of research is morally acceptable.
What do older Americans think?
Once again, you might be surprised!
(Use the series index at the bottom of this post to read the other examples of changing attitudes I have highlighted this week.)
Today, almost seven of ten Americans 55 years of age and older say that embryonic stem cell research is morally acceptable, according to a new Pew Research Center report. This is a 20 point increase since 2001. Majorities of young Americans (ages 18–34) and somewhat older Americans (ages 35–54) have always supported this type of medical research, but there has been fluctuation up and down. “Much of the increase in moral acceptance of stem cell research,” Pew researchers say, “has been driven by a change in the opinions of adults aged 55 and over.”
How about medical testing on animals? Here, young Americans are leading the charge—away from this type of research. In 2001, 66% of young Americans said that medical testing on animals was morally acceptable. There’s been downward trend over time. Now, only 47% say that it’s morally acceptable to conduct medical testing with animals. In contrast, opinions of Americans of the two older age groups have remained favorable over time, with only a slight downward trend.
Are you surprised by any of these findings?
What is causing the shift on stem cells?
Are there moral parallels with the medical testing issue?
What are your views on these two issues?
leave a comment below:
- Older Americans: Are their attitudes changing?
- Older Americans: Changing sexual attitudes?
- Older Americans: Is divorce OK?
- Older Americans: Views of stem cells and testing on animals?
- Older Americans: Young dogs? Old dogs? Is there an age gap?