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CGS Authors Stem Cell Report Published by The Century Foundation

Genetic Crossroads
June 29th, 2006

The latest publication in The Century Foundation’s “Basics” series, Stem Cells and Public Policy, brings a new perspective to the ongoing national controversy over embryonic stem cell research.

With public debate focused largely on the divisive issue of using human embryos for research, a number of important social, political and economic questions raised by stem cell technologies have received scant public attention.    

“Stem cell technologies—and the new human biotechnologies more generally—are potentially of great benefit, but they also entail risks,” says Richard Hayes, CGS executive director and lead author of the new publication. “Without comprehensive national oversight and regulation, they could be used in ways that generate economic disparities, endanger women’s and children’s health, and open the door to socially unacceptable applications,” he said.

Stem Cells and Public Policy provides a concise, comprehensive overview of basic stem cell science; potential therapeutic applications; ethical, social and political implications of stem cell research; the state of public opinion; and policy options. It addresses critical questions including the establishment of medical research priorities, the treatment of intellectual property rights, the protection of research subjects, the role of religious and scientific institutions in policy-making, and the effective national and international governance of the burgeoning field of biotechnology.

Stem Cells and Public Policy was written by Richard Hayes of the Center for Genetics and Society in collaboration with Pete Shanks and Marcy Darnovsky, under the direction of Leif Wellington Haase, health care fellow at The Century Foundation.

Read the full text of Stem Cells and Public Policy in PDF format.


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