Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Endocr Rev. 2009 May;30(3):204-13. doi: 10.1210/er.2008-0031. Epub 2009 Apr 14.

Ethical issues in stem cell research.

Author information

  • 1University of California San Francisco Program in Medical Ethics, San Francisco, California 94143, USA. bernard.lo@ucsf.edu

Abstract

Stem cell research offers great promise for understanding basic mechanisms of human development and differentiation, as well as the hope for new treatments for diseases such as diabetes, spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease, and myocardial infarction. However, human stem cell (hSC) research also raises sharp ethical and political controversies. The derivation of pluripotent stem cell lines from oocytes and embryos is fraught with disputes about the onset of human personhood. The reprogramming of somatic cells to produce induced pluripotent stem cells avoids the ethical problems specific to embryonic stem cell research. In any hSC research, however, difficult dilemmas arise regarding sensitive downstream research, consent to donate materials for hSC research, early clinical trials of hSC therapies, and oversight of hSC research. These ethical and policy issues need to be discussed along with scientific challenges to ensure that stem cell research is carried out in an ethically appropriate manner. This article provides a critical analysis of these issues and how they are addressed in current policies.

PMID:
19366754
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2726839
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk