The Stem Cell Controversy: Debating the Issues / Edition 2

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Stem cell research is headline news. Researchers are eager to move forward, state governments and private foundations are rushing to support it, and the sick and afflicted are desperate for its benefits. Yet powerful forces in our society — led by President George W. Bush — find it morally troubling and they are doing all in their powers to restrict its development beyond a very limited scale.
Stem cells, which have the remarkable potential to develop into different parts of the body, are actually harvested from aborted fetal tissue or newly fertilized cells. Proponents of stem cell research argue that scientists are making legitimate use of already aborted fetuses and it is unfair to deprive those who are suffering the benefits of a potentially revolutionary therapy. Yet this practice has raised sharp criticisms from the Religious Right, who charge that science is capitalizing on an abhorrent procedure.
Given the medical potential for treatment of incurable diseases by stem cell research, as well as the moral dilemmas this technology poses, should such research be permitted? What moral, religious, or political objections might be raised?
Philosophers Michael Ruse and Christopher A. Pynes have compiled this valuable, up-to-date, and newly revised collection of articles by noted experts to address all aspects of the stem cell controversy. The contributors — scientists, medical practitioners, philosophers, theologians, historians, and policy analysts — offer a variety of perspectives to give readers the critical tools they need to shape an informed position on the topic. Readers will come away with a deeper understanding of the science of stem cell research, its medical cures and promises, and the moral, religious, and policy concerns surrounding this controversial social issue.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591024040
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Series: Contemporary Issues (Prometheus) Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 482,807
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Ruse (Tallahassee, FL) is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University and the author or editor of The Stem Cell Controversy; Cloning: Responsible Science or Technomadness?; Taking Darwin Seriously; Philosophy of Biology; and But Is It Science?, among many other works.

Christopher A. Pynes is an assistant professor of philosophy at Western Illinois University and the coeditor with Michael Ruse of the first edition of The Stem Cell Controversy.

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Table of Contents

1 Stem cells : a primer 27
2 The language really matters 37
3 Can old cells learn new tricks? 55
4 Adult stem cells - a positive perspective 61
5 "Parthenotes" expand the debate on stem cells 65
6 Paralyzed mouse walks again as scientists fight stem cell ban 73
7 60 Minutes II, holy grail 77
8 Human stem cell research and the potential for clinical application 83
9 Fetal neuron grafts pave the way for stem cell therapies 93
10 Promises of stem cells kept 99
11 The stem cell slide : be alert to the beginnings of evil 111
12 Research with human embryonic stem cells : ethical considerations 117
13 Ethics and policy in embryonic stem cell research 131
14 The ethics and politics of small sacrifices in stem cell research 161
15 The ethical case against stem cell research 169
16 Stem cell research : the failure of bioethics 187
17 Public stem cell banks : considerations of justice in stem cell research and therapy 199
18 Patients' voices : the powerful sound in the stem cell debate 227
19 The stem cell controversy 231
20 Stem cells and the Catholic Church 239
21 Testimony of Abdulaziz Sachedina 251
22 Human embryonic stem cell research : an intercultural perspective 259
23 A time for restraint 287
24 The politics and ethics of human embryo and stem cell research 291
25 The basics about stem cells 301
26 Locating convergence : ethics, public policy, and human stem cell research 311
27 Stem cells : public policy and ethics 329
28 Ethical consistency in embryonic stem cell research 343
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