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.
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.
This is a one-of-a-kind book: combining easy-to-understand science, in-the-trenches political warfare, and inspirational stories. It aims to give hope to individuals and families who suffer from chronic disease or disability; to point out how ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference in the battle to ease suffering and save lives through supporting medical research; to share in “people talk” some of the amazing progress already achieved in the new field of stem cell research; to show how even such a magnificent success as the California stem cell program is under constant attack from ideological groups; to offer medical research as a force for international cooperation; to suggest how cure research lessens the need for the mountainous costs of endless care.
Unparalleled background: the author has been involved in virtually every important stem cell battle (state, national, and international) since embryonic stem cell research began. The author works closely with Robert N. Klein, sponsor of the California stem cell program, the largest source of such stem cell research funding in the world. In addition, the author is an award-winning teacher as well as writer, and seeks to entertain as well as educate. His book is not only substantive, but also fun.
The book would be a treasured gift: for anyone suffering an “incurable” illness or who is a caregiver for a loved one; for a college student considering a rewarding career in biomedicine; for scientists who want to protect and enhance their research funding; and for anyone who wants to see government respond to the needs of its citizenry. Chronic disease and disability are a prison: cure is the triumphant escape — wheelchairs should be for temporary occupancy only.
Readership: General readers, caregivers of someone with chronic disease, patient advocates, students in biomedical science, policy makers in government, stem cell researchers.