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.