You are here: Home Research Projects The Ethics of Human Stem Cell Research and Therapy in Europe

The Ethics of Human Stem Cell Research and Therapy in Europe

  • Abstract:
    The main objective of the project is to develop an ethical framework for human stem cell research. The responsibilities of researchers, policy makers and economic actors in the field are clarified, as well as the rights of research subjects and tissue donors. New ethical issues raised by such research are explored.

    Special attention is payed to the development of stem cell research in the United Kingdom, but also in continental Europe. Public reactions and responses will be characterised and the regulatory and legislative framework within which stem cell research will take place in the United Kingdom and in other EU nations will be evaluated. Ethical issues and concerns raised by such research will be identified and the extent to which such issues can be, or have been resolved will be clarified.

    In more detail, the different ethical issues associated with the various sources of human stem cells for research and therapy, as well as their rival research and therapeutic advantages and disadvantages and the different ethical issues their use might involve will be identified. A general ethical framework for the use of human tissues, including embryo and fetal tissues, will be developed, and the special issues raised by using embryo or fetal cell tissue will be compared with other research or medical interventions involving embryos and fetuses permitted in Europe. The current and projected balance of risks and benefits of human stem cell research and therapy, including the impact of regulatory measures on European economic competitiveness, will be explored. In this way, the project aims to contribute to a balanced dialogue between the public, the policy makers, and the actors in the field.


  • Partners:
    Prof. John Harris, B.A., D.Phil. (Coordinator)
    Institute of Medicine, Law and Bioethics (IMLAB), University of Manchester, UK

    Prof. Inez de Beaufort
    Department of Medical Ethics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands

    Prof. Ruth Chadwick, B.A., B.Phil., D.Phil., L.L.B.,
    Institute for Environment, Philosophy and Public Policy (IEPPP), Lancaster University, UK

    Andrew Dearing, D.Phil.
    European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA), Paris, France

    Charles A. Erin, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.
    Institute of Medicine, Law and Bioethics (IMLAB), University of Manchester, UK

    Prof. Göran Hermerén, Ph.D.
    Department of Medical Ethics, Lund University, Sweden

    Prof. Dr. phil. Dr. h.c. Ludger Honnefelder
    Institut für Wissenschaft und Ethik, Bonn, Germany

    Kirsty Keywood, L.L.B., L.L.M.
    Institute of Medicine, Law and Bioethics (IMLAB), University of Manchester, UK

    Prof. Bill Ollier
    School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research, University of Manchester, UK

    Prof. Stefano Rodota
    University of Rome «La Sapienza», Italy

    Prof. Carlos M. Romeo-Casabona D.L., M.D.,
    Catedra de Derechro y Genoma Humano, Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao, Spain

 

  • Sub-contractor:
    Prof. Giovanni Berlinguer, M.D., National Committee for Bioethics, Rom, Italy

 

  • Funding:
    «Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources», 5. Rahmenprogramm der Europäischen Kommission

 

  • Funding period:
    February 2002 - January 2005

 

  • Publication:
    Heinemann, T., Honnefelder, L.: Principles of Ethical Decision Making Regarding Embryonic Stem Cell Research in Germany. In: Bioethics 16, 6 (2002), 530-543.
Document Actions