Embryo Research in Pluralistic Europe

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Springer Science & Business Media, Nov 28, 2003 - Medical - 436 pages
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Recent advances in techniques and understanding in the fields of genetics, embryology and reproductive biology have opened up new ways to treat a wide range of medical problems. They range from new options for infertility treatment and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to stem-cell-based therapies for debilitating diseases. Since all these approaches involve the manipulation of human gametes, embryos or embryonic cells, and could also permit more contentious uses, they have stimulated a controversial debate as to what aims are desirable and to what extent experiments on human embryos are morally permissible, if permissible at all. The situation is further complicated by the fact that scientific projects are increasingly realized through international co-operation and that patients are increasingly ready to seek morally contentious medical treatment wherever it is available and thus to bypass national legislation. In view of this situation the Europńische Akademie assembled a temporary interdisciplinary project group in which scientists from universities and non-university research organizations in Europe working on the relevant subjects were brought together and charged with establishing a knowledge base and providing suggestions for long-term solutions that would be acceptable for society. Presented here are the results of this project, ranging from a discussion of the theoretical and practical possibilities in human-embryo experimentation and its alternatives in research on adult stem cells, a comparison of the situations and prospects of regulation of embryo research in Europe, a survey of European public attitudes, and a philosophical analysis of the arguments and argumentative strategies used in the debate.

 

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Contents

Theoretical and Practical Possibilities in Human Embryo Experimentation
37
11 The Human Problem
38
112 Embryo Loss
40
12 Experiments Designed Exclusively to Develop Methods to Improve Facilitate or Make Reproduction Possible
45
122 Embryo culture
46
123 Intracytoplasmic sperm injection ICSI
48
124 Injection of ooplasm
49
125 Embryo and gamete freezing
50
343 The Spanish Constitutional Court ruling of 17 June 1999
130
344 The National Assisted Human Reproduction Committee Comision Nacional de Reproduction Humana Asistida NRHA
131
3441 The first report of the CNRHA
132
3442 The second report of CNRHA
133
Regulation in Germany
134
352 Relevant legislation
135
353 Current decisions
137
3531 Statutory definition of the embryo and prohibition of cloning
138

ii Ovary transplants
51
13 Prenatal and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
52
132 Prenatal diagnosis
54
134 Procedures involved in IVF and PGD
58
135 How do we decide when PGD should be used and what are its limits?
59
14 Experiments Designed to Develop or Improve Methods of Contraception
62
16 Experiments Designed to Develop Methods for the Alteration of the Genetic Makeup of the Human Embryo and Resulting Adult
63
162 Genetic improvement
65
163 Cloning
66
17 Research Involving the Use of Embryos to Derive Embryonic Stem ES Cells for Therapeutic Purposes
68
171 Will clinical application of EScells be necessary in view of the availability of adult stem cells?
73
18 Conclusions
75
Adult and Embryonic Stem Cells Clinical Perspectives
77
New Approaches for Tissue Repair
78
221 Application of factors regulating proliferation migration differentiation and structural integration
79
223 Cell transplantation
80
23 Cell Sources
83
232 Adult stem and progenitor cells
85
234 Mesenchymal stem cells
88
235 Cord blood stem cells
90
236 Tissueresident Adult Stem and Progenitor Cells
91
238 Epidermal stem cells
92
2310 Oval cells of the liver
94
2313 Previous clinical applications of adult stem cells
95
24 Fetal Cells
96
251 Isolation and culture of embryonic stem cells
98
252 Differentiation of embryonic stem cells
99
253 Genetic manipulation of human embryonic stem cells
100
254 Approaches to allow clinical transplantation of ES cellderived cells without immunosuppression
101
256 Genetic engineering of a universal EScell line
102
258 Production of autologous embryonic stem cells by means of therapeutic cloning
104
26 Embryonic Germ Cells
107
27 Potential Risks of Upcoming Applications of Regenerative Medicine
108
28 Clinical Approval
109
The Regulation of Embryo Research in Europe Situation and Prospects
111
32 Current Regulation in the EU and the NAS
112
3212 Definition of embryo
113
3213 Sources of embryos for research where permitted
114
3215 Consent
115
3218 Benefit to the embryo
116
32110 Storage
117
3222 Sources of embryos where permitted
118
3224 Consent
119
3229 Storage
120
331 Challenges to the legislation
121
332 The broad position of UK regulation
123
Regulation in Spain
127
342 The ruling of the Spanish Constitutional Court of 19 December 1996
129
3533 The discussion on the status of the embryo
141
3542 Extraction of embryos
142
3544 Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis PGD
145
355 Current discussion statements from the main political parties
146
356 Commission of Inquiry and National Ethics Council an attempt at a solution
148
357 Possible solutions for the German legal situation
149
36 Prospects
151
362 The Impact of the Newly Associated States
153
38 Recent Developments
154
Attitudes toward Embryo Experimentation in Europe
157
42 Science in a Crisis of Legitimacy?
159
422 The cultural appropriation of science at the turn of the century
160
The Case of the Life Sciences
162
44 General Attitudes to Science and Technology in Europe
165
443 Confidence in the scientific community
166
45 Perceptions of Animal and Human Cloning in Europe
168
IVF and Semen Bank Donors
172
47 Stem Cells Embryo Experimentation and the Status of the Embryo
175
472 The status of the embryo
176
473 Beliefs about the beginning of individual human life
180
474 Religious beliefs the status of the embryo and the beginning of individual life
183
48 Attitudes toward Embryo Experimentation
186
482 Medical benefits vs the embryos rights
190
483 Religious beliefs and attitudes toward embryo experimentation
194
49 Attitudes to PGD
197
EU vs National Level
198
411 Conclusions
200
Toward a Rational Debate on Embryo Research
205
Prohibitive Permissive and Regulatory
206
512 The Permissive Position
210
513 The Regulatory Stance
212
52 Rationality and Persuasiveness of Specific Arguments
217
521 Taboos
218
522 Redefinition
220
523 Emotions and the Rhetorical Language
221
525 Naturalism
223
526 Dignity
224
527 Rights
226
528 The Slippery Slope Argument
227
529 Caution
229
5210 Injustice
230
53 The Need for and Limits of Procedural Solutions to Problems of Substantive Rationality
232
Recommendations
239
Glossary
245
Appendices
259
References
399
List of Authors
427
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