The main Bioethical issues associated with human stem cells involve their derivation and use for research. Although there are interesting ethical issues surrounding the collection and use of somatic adult stem cells from aborted foetuses and umbilical cord blood, the most intense controversy to date has focused on the source of human embryonic stem (hES) cells. At present, new ethical issues are beginning to emerge around the derivation and use of other hES cell–like stem cells that have the capacity to differentiate into all types of human tissue. In the near future, as the stem cell field progresses closer to the clinic, additional ethical issues are likely to arise concerning the clinical translation of basic stem cell knowledge into reasonably safe, effective, and accessible patient therapies. This Review summarizes these and other bioethical issues of the past, present, and future of stem cell research.
- The ethics and politics of stem cell research
- Biosafety and rDNA Guidelines