Ethics and Emerging Laws in Stem Cell Science

Neil Stephens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter charts shifts in the ethical and social context of stem cell science from 1998 until 2012. It starts by focusing upon some philosophical, religious, and in situ accounts of the ethics of human embryonic stem cell research. It then articulates key components of the regulatory response to this in several countries. This is followed with a discussion of somatic cell nuclear transfer and the ethical implications of increased demand for ova and women's reproductive labor. Focus is then placed upon the relative invisibility of fetal material in discussions of stem cell ethics and regulation. The key ethical issues of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer, or hybrid embryos, are then discussed reflecting upon the UK debate that led to the legalization of the technique that remains prohibited in many other countries. Focus then shifts to the ethical opportunities and challenges of induced pluripotency stem cells. The closing sections outline the most recent developments in the ethical and legal aspects of stem cell science, including the new US policies of President Obama, and the European Court of Justice ruling declaring process involving embryos cannot be patented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering in Dental Sciences
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780123977786
ISBN (Print)9780123971579
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The support of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is gratefully acknowledged. This work is part of the Research Program of the ESRC Genomics Network at Cesagen (ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Ethics
  • European Court of Justice
  • HFEA
  • Human embryonic stem cells
  • Hybrid embryos
  • IPS cells
  • Law
  • Regulation
  • Society
  • Stem cells
  • UK Stem Cell Bank

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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