To date, the ethical discussion on human embryonic stem cell research has focused on the moral status of the embryo. This text explores many other ethical, legal and social issues involved in translating stem cell research into medical applications.
Read the Authors’ Op-Ed on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Sin No More offers a vivid examination of some of the most morally and politically disputed issues of our time: abortion, gay rights, assisted suicide, stem cell research, and legalized gambling. These are moral values issues, all of which are hotly, sometimes violently, contested in America. The authors cover these issues in depth, looking at the nature of efforts to initiate reforms, to define constituencies, to mobilize resources, to frame debates, and to shape public opinion—all in an effort to achieve social change, create, or re-write legislation. Of the issues under scrutiny only legalized gambling has managed to achieve widespread acceptance despite moral qualms from some.
Sin No More seeks to show what these laws and attitudes tell us about Americans’ approach to law and morality, and about our changing conceptions of sin, crime and illegality. Running through each chapter is a central tension: that American attitudes and laws toward these victimless crimes are going through a process of normalization. Despite conservative rhetoric the authors argue that the tide is turning on each of these issues, with all moving toward acceptance, or decriminalization, in society. Each issue is at a different point in terms of this acceptance, and each has traveled different roads to achieve their current status.
The great hurry to realise promised cures in stem cell research requires regulation to guarantee bioethical research practices. Yet, increasingly similar national guidelines for stem cell research yields a range of diverging research practices. This book shows how the different rationale of regulation affects stem cell research practices in Asia. In low- and medium income countries such as India and China the advancement of science has a different weight on the national agenda, and the evaluation of scientific research is measured with a different yardstick, depending on the political and national research environment. For developing countries the question of research funding into stem cell research, healthcare, and the donation of embryos, foetuses and oocytes entail different considerations compared to in affluent welfare societies. Moreover, research institutions have different cultural and political histories, so that the meaning of formal guidelines, legislation and social rules may differ according to their various institutional settings. This volume discusses the informal cultures, social conventions and traditions that are crucial to the way in which stem cell research takes place in Asia.
This book was originally published as a special issue of New Genetics and Society.