Azara Blog: Political meeting about embryonic stem cell research

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Date published: 2006/02/25

The BBC says:

Conflicting national policies in embryonic stem cell research hamper international collaboration, leading scientists and ethicists have said.

They have called upon scientists, journals and funding bodies worldwide to set an international ethical standard for research in this area.

The recommendations were made at a three-day international conference in Cambridgeshire, UK.

The researchers hope the measures will enable international collaboration.

About 60 leading researchers from 14 countries - including scientists, philosophers, bioethicists, lawyers, clinicians, journal editors and regulators - took part in the meeting.

The delegates have now formed the Hinxton Group, an interdisciplinary consortium on stem cell ethics and law, which will meet regularly to further discuss these issues.

All very well intended, but the real problem is not conflicting national policies per se. It is that religious fundamentalists are opposed to such research, and they have influence in many countries, in particular in America, which would normally be a leader in such research. A few countries will lead the way and that will settle the issue, unless the religious fundamentalists manage to get the UN to outlaw all such research.

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