This essay will address the ethical issues that have emerged in the first considerations of the newly emerging stem cell technology. Many of us in the field of bioethics were deliberating related issues as we first learned of the new science and confronted the ethical issues it raised. In this essay, I will draw on the work of colleagues who were asked to reflect on early stages of the research (members of the IRBs, the Geron Ethicist Advisory Board, and the National Bioethics Advisory Commission) as the field debated the issues of consent, moral status, use of animal tissues, abortion, use of fetal tissue, and the nature and goals of entrepreneurial research. In this new capacity, ethicists weighed the problem of privacy, the role of justice considerations, and the issues of the marketplace in science. At this point, it is clear that far more issues remain unresolved than are settled, that there is largely unexplored territory ahead, and that the single most important task that faces us as a field is a steady call for ongoing conversation and public debate.
- Embryonic stem cells embryo moral status fertilization NBAC personhood pre-embryo pluripotent
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects
- Health Policy