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Advancing Neuroregenerative Medicine: a Call for Expanded Collaboration Between Scientists and Ethicists

Abstract

To date, ethics discussions about stem cell research overwhelmingly have centered on the morality and acceptability of using human embryonic stem cells. Governments in many jurisdictions have now answered these “first-level questions” and many have now begun to address ethical issues related to the donation of cells, gametes, or embryos for research. In this commentary, we move beyond these ethical concerns to discuss new themes that scientists on the forefront of NRM development anticipate, providing a preliminary framework for further discussion between scientists and ethicists. Fostering strong partnerships between neuroscientists and ethicists that operate and collaborate within this evolving framework will maximize the translation of NRM discoveries on the brain into cures that are safe and address the needs of science and society.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by NIH/NINDS #NS 045831 and the Foundation of Ethics and Technology (JI), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) 73411 (Abdallah Daar) and CIHR CNE-85117 (JI). We extend our appreciation to Abdallah Daar and Adrian Ivinson for valuable feedback on the interview guide.

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Correspondence to Jocelyn Grunwell.

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Grunwell, J., Illes, J. & Karkazis, K. Advancing Neuroregenerative Medicine: a Call for Expanded Collaboration Between Scientists and Ethicists. Neuroethics 2, 13 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12152-008-9025-5

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Keywords

  • Empirical bioethics
  • Neuroregenerative medicine
  • Stem cell
  • Animal–human chimeras
  • Human neural-grafted chimeras
  • Informed consent
  • Therapeutic misconception
  • Therapeutic orphans
  • Vulnerable research subjects
  • Cognitive enhancement
  • California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)
  • Proposition 71
  • Scientific emigration
  • Brain-drain
  • Medical tourism
  • Neuroethics
  • Neuroscience
  • Batten’s disease