Biomedical sciences have made extremely beneficial impacts through the development of new medicines, treatments, and therapies. One particularly innovative field of research is the use of human embryonic stem cells. There are different types of stem cells being used, such as adult stem cells, but human embryonic stem cells are quite magical. They have the capability to develop into any type of cell in the body. Thus, leaving the door open to new possibilities wide open. Despite being tremendously beneficial, there is a high amount of controversy surrounding the research. Which brings me to my research question: If human embryonic stem cell research is beneficial, what causes the controversy surrounding it? My research led me to discover that it primarily lies on one issue. Ethics. In order to fully discuss the issues behind it, I will first discuss what human embryonic stem cells are and what they can do, then the ethical implications, and lastly, I will discuss the legal status. Stem cells can be distinguished from other cells by two main characteristics. First, they are capable of cell division which renews the cells. The second distinguishing factor is that through special induced conditions, they can become tissues or organs. Human embryonic stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst. A blastocyst is an embryo consisting of roughly 150 cells that were produced by cell division after fertilization. They are considered to be pluripotent because they are able to give rise to various types of cells in the body. In 1998, the use of human embryonic stem cells commenced. James Thomson and his team first began working with isolated embryos in order to retrieve the stem cell. He used the embryonic stem cells from donated eggs that were previously set to go through in vitro fertilization. Thomson gained informed consent from the donors to grow the embryo to the blastocyst phase. Whilst in this phase, the cells can no longer grow into a full human, but they are pluripotent enough to give rise to all tissues in the body.