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.
Few recent advances in science have generated as much excitement and controversy as human embryonic stem cells. The potential of these cells to replace diseased or damaged cells in virtually every tissue of the body heralds the advent of an extraordinary new field of medicine. Controversy arises, however, because current techniques required to harvest stem cells involve the destruction of the human blastocyst. This even-handed, lucidly written volume is an essential tool for understanding the complex issues—scientific, religious, ethical, and political—that currently fuel public debate about stem cell research. One of the few books to provide a comprehensive overview for a wide audience, the volume brings together leading scientists, ethicists, political scientists, and doctors to explain this new scientific development and explore its ramifications.
“There has been much recent debate about the merits, dangers, and nature of stem cell research. Some see in it the answer to every debilitating disease known to man, while others see it as a step away from human cloning. While the battle has raged, research is moving ahead, and California has already passed a measure that will give $3 billion in support to stem cell research. But as politics, religion, and the media weigh in on this complex issue, more and more of the scientific reality of stem cell research is getting lost. In the search for the truth about stem cell science, the author has interviewed the scientists whose cutting-edge research is at the very heart of this hot-button issue. The book explains what they have accomplished so far, what they’re currently doing, and what they see on the horizon. The Stem Cell Divide does not take sides, and the author debunks the distortions and exaggerations that come from every camp. This book does not tell readers what to think, but gives them the facts necessary to form their own opinions about one of the most divisive, complex, and potentially life-changing developments in history.”