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The Legal History and Ethics of Stem Cell Research Essay

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An interesting aspect of stem cell research is how politically charged it was from its very beginning. Originally born into a conservative playing field, the bounds on stem cell research were never as open as they are now, having been suppressed by political opinion for several decades. Numerous accounts of voting to support stem cell research were blocked by individual opinions of people with the influence to do so. Today, stem cell research is more open and accepted, due to technological advancements, but I think more importantly, a changing political mood. But this freedom allows for more ambitious trials and research to take place, so it is important to allow the field to progress scientifically, without befalling to scandals or fraud like other breakthrough medical applications have in the past.
My primary source is an overview of the current state of stem cell research written by Roger Barker, Professor of Clinical Neuroscience and Honorary Consultant in Neurology at the University of Cambridge and at Addenbrooke's Hospital (Roger Barker pg.1). Barker has been in his current position for more than ten years with his main interest being neurodegenerative disorders, one of the main proposed applications for stem cell research. He wrote this article in 2013, so the opinions he brings up are very current and relevant to the current status of stem cell research.
Barker gives a brief introduction reciprocating the optimistic potential of stem cell research often seen today. However, he quickly makes a point that stem cell research is highly subject to unchecked optimism and claims that go beyond the evidence given by clinical trials. He says this because there are many “desperate patients and … families [who] will often seek...


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"HISTORY OF STEM CELL RESEARCH." Boston Childrens Hospital. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. .
"Legal and Political History of Stem Cell Science." Stem Cell Bioethics. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. .
"Timeline of Major Events in Stem Cell Research Policy." Timeline of Major Events in Stem Cell Research Policy:. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. .
Wertz, D. C. "Embryo and Stem Cell Research in the United States: History and Politics." Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, June 2002. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. .











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