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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

A Guide to the Benefits, Responsibilities and Opportunities of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

British North America Committee Report by British North America Committee

This paper was authored by the British North America Committee (BNAC), a group of leaders from business, labour, and academia in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. In Canada, the BNAC is sponsored by the C.D. Howe Institute.

This paper explores the implications of embryonic stem cell research. It is meant to act as a guide to create the framework for an informed discussion regarding embryonic stem cell research. The authors argue that the confusion and emotion regarding this issue has driven countries to create laws and regulations that could ultimately prove detrimental to the human condition, to biomedical research, and ultimately, to the economy. The authors point out that the ethical considerations of embryonic stem cells are considerable, often confusing, and deserve more analysis from all stakeholders: the scientific community, religious and philosophical leaders, and the general public.

The authors examine the three sources of embryonic stem cells: 1) excess embryos as a by-product of in vitro fertilization; 2) deliberate fertilization of human ova in culture; and 3) somatic cell nuclear transplant, sometimes called therapeutic cloning. They point out that concern surrounding the third source of stem cells is the most prevalent. Issues of privacy, property, informed consent and cost must be considered carefully. The authors examine policy and legislative activities in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada to provide an overview of how medical research is progressing, while highlighting the implications for each country’s economy.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): British North America Committee;
Publisher: C.D. Howe Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Health Care / Technology
Policy Articles / Health Care / Technology / 2004
Policy Articles / Health Care

Keywords / Tags:

embryonic stem cell research; biomedical research; ethical considerations; scientific community; religious community; economic implications;