The business of human embryonic stem cell research and an international analysis of relevant laws

J Biolaw Bus. 2004;7(4):14-22.


Few sciences have held out such therapeutic promise and correspondingly stirred so much controversy in countries throughout the world as the developing science surrounding human embryonic stem cells. Since the first reported development of several lines of human embryonic stem cells in 1988, many governments around the world have attempted to address the thorny ethical issues raised by human embryonic stem cell research by the passage of laws. In some cases these laws have directly regulated governmental funding of the science; in other cases they have created a legal environment that has either encouraged or discouraged both governmental and private funding of the science. This article first differentiates human embryonic stem cells from other types of stem cells and frames the ethical controversy surrounding human embryonic stem cell research, then surveys laws governing human embryonic stem cell research in various scientifically advanced countries located throughout the Pacific Rim, Europe and North America and explains the impact these laws have had on governmental and private funding of human embryonic stem cell research.

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Embryo Research / economics
  • Embryo Research / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Europe
  • Financing, Government
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • North America
  • Private Sector
  • Public Policy*
  • Research Support as Topic
  • Stem Cells*