Stem Cell Dialogues : A Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry into Medical Frontiers
"Stem cells" have become linked with both new frontiers in medical science and political and ethical controversy. The field, along with the emerging area of regenerative medicine, is creating the conditions for a time when damaged tissue and organs might be repaired through personalized cell therapy as easily as the body repairs itself, therefore revolutionizing the treatment of numerous diseases. Yet to obtain human embryonic stem cells, scientists must destroy human embryos--a prospect that has provoked intense reactions among the American public. Addressing the moral and ethical issues of stem cell research while also educating readers about the biological function and medical applications of these cells, this book features fictional characters engaging in compelling inquiry and debate. Participants investigate the scientific, political, and socio-ethical dimensions of stem cell science using actual language, analysis, and arguments taken from scientific, philosophical, and popular literature. Each dialogue centers on a specific, recognizable topic, such as the policies implemented by the George W. Bush administration restricting the use of embryonic stem cells; the potential role of stem cells in personalized medicine; the ethics of cloning; and the sale of eggs and embryos. Additionally, speakers debate the use of stem cells to treat paralysis, diabetes, stroke effects, macular degeneration, and cancer. Educational, entertaining, and rigorously researched (with 300 references to scientific literature), Stem Cell Dialogues should be included in any effort to help the public understand the science, ethics, and policy concerns of this promising field.