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Rev Med Chil. 2013 Aug;141(8):1034-40. doi: 10.4067/S0034-98872013000800010.

[Bioethical challenges of stem cell tourism].

[Article in Spanish]

Abstract

Stem cells have drawn extraordinary attention from scientists and the general public due to their potential to generate effective therapies for incurable diseases. At the same time, the production of embryonic stem cells involves a serious ethical issue concerning the destruction of human embryos. Although adult stem cells and induced pluripotential cells do not pose this ethical objection, there are other bioethical challenges common to all types of stem cells related particularly to the clinical use of stem cells. Their clinical use should be based on clinical trials, and in special situations, medical innovation, both of which have particular ethical dimensions. The media has raised unfounded expectations in patients and the public about the real clinical benefits of stem cells. At the same time, the number of unregulated clinics is increasing around the world, making direct offers through Internet of unproven stem cell therapies that attract desperate patients that have not found solutions in standard medicine. This is what is called stem cells tourism. This article reviews this situation, its consequences and the need for international cooperation to establish effective regulations to prevent the exploitation of patients and to endanger the prestige of legitimate stem cell research.

PMID:
24448860
DOI:
10.4067/S0034-98872013000800010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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