Human embryonic stem cell research: an intercultural perspective

Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 2004 Mar;14(1):3-38. doi: 10.1353/ken.2004.0019.


In 1998, researchers discovered that embryonic stem cells could be derived from early human embryos. This discovery has raised a series of ethical and public-policy questions that are now being confronted by multiple international organizations, nations, cultures, and religious traditions. This essay surveys policies for human embryonic stem cell research in four regions of the world, reports on the recent debate at the United Nations about one type of such research, and reviews the positions that various religious traditions have adopted regarding this novel type of research. In several instances the religious traditions seem to have influenced the public-policy debates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Buddhism
  • Catholicism
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Organism
  • Culture
  • Eastern Orthodoxy
  • Embryo Disposition
  • Embryo Research* / ethics
  • Embryo Research* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Europe
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Financing, Government
  • Government Regulation*
  • Hinduism
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Middle East
  • North America
  • Protestantism
  • Public Policy*
  • Religion and Science*
  • Religious Philosophies
  • Research Embryo Creation / ethics
  • Research Embryo Creation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Research Support as Topic
  • Stem Cells*
  • United Nations