Stem Cell Research: The Ethical Issues

In this timely collection, some of the world’s leading ethicists grapple with the variety of issues posed by human embryonic stem cell research.

  • Investigates the moral status of the embryo including the creation of chimeras and paying for gametes (eggs and sperm) and embryos for research purposes
  • Provides a thorough evaluation of the ethics and politics of regulating hESC research, and the privacy, confidentiality, and informed consent in the conduct of research and clinical investigations
  • Essential reading for scientists, philosophers, policy makers, and all who are interested in the ethical conduct of science
  • Contributors include David DeGrazia, Lori Gruen, Elizabeth Harman, John Harris, Jeff McMahan, Don Marquis and Peter Singer

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Stem Cells: Scientific Progress and Future Research Directions

The makings of future news headlines about tomorrow’s life saving therapies starts in the biomedical research laboratory. Ideas abound; early successes and later failures and knowledge gained from both; the rare lightning bolt of an unexpected breakthrough discovery — this is a glimpse of the behind the scenes action of some of the world’s most acclaimed stem cell scientists’ quest to solve some of the human body’s most challenging mysteries. Stem cells — what lies ahead? The following chapters explore some of the cutting edge research featuring stem cells. Disease and disorders with no therapies or at best, partially effective ones, are the lure of the pursuit of stem cell research. Described here are examples of significant progress that is a prologue to an era of medical discovery of cell-based therapies that will one day restore function to those whose lives are now challenged every day — but perhaps in the future, no longer.

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The Human Embryo Research Debates: Bioethics in the Vortex of Controversy

Research on the early human embryo has long been recognized as essential to progress in a host of biomedical areas from reproductive medicine to the treatment of pediatric cancers. Now, with the possibility of stem cell research and cell replacement therapies, embryo research holds out the promise of cures for many serious disease conditions such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Despite its importance, however, human embryo research has met powerful opposition. Drawing on his experience as a member of the NIH’s Human Embryo Research Panel, Green offers a first-hand account of the embryo research debates. In telling this story, he periodically pauses to reflect on some of the leading philosophical challenges posed by embryo research and new interventions at the start of life. Among the questions he examines are: What is the impact of new biological information on our thinking about life’s beginning? May parents risk injuring a child in order to have it? What role should religion play in shaping biomedical policy in a controversial area like this? This is a fascinating insider’s account of one of the most important, if unsuccessful, recent efforts to come to terms with a controversial area of scientific research.

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