Stem Cell Research and Therapy: The Position of the National Society of Genetic Counselors
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- Kirkpatrick, B., Hercher, L., Facio, F. et al. J Genet Counsel (2013) 22: 407. doi:10.1007/s10897-013-9572-8
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Stem cells’ regenerative capabilities present a unique opportunity to treat human illness and injury. In 2003, the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) issued a position statement supporting stem cell use in research settings. Almost a decade later, in response to legislative and technological developments within the field of stem cell science, NSGC convened a task force to revisit and update its statement on stem cell research. In doing so, the Task Force developed a new statement reaffirming NSGC’s support for stem cell research and endorsed continued stem cell therapy development. NSGC recognizes that the unique potential of stem cell therapy to treat human disease and injury can be realized only through research on a diverse array of stem cell lines drawn from multiple sources, including embryonic, cord blood, and adult cells. NSGC supports the use of stem cells in research and clinical settings when practices adhere to defined ethical and legal guidelines. Available stem cell lines should reflect our genetically diverse population, and donor recruitment should be without discrimination or coercion and include a thorough and dynamic informed consent process.