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Ethics and Uncertainty: Considerations for the Design and Review of Translational Trials Involving Stem Cells

  • James A. Anderson
  • Jonathan Kimmelman
Part of the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine book series (STEMCELL)

Abstract

Once we set aside issues related to the ontological status of the human embryo, many of the ethical issues presented by translational stem cell trials resemble those presented by other areas of clinical research. Does the trial present a favorable balance of risks and benefits? Will the selection of subjects be fair? Will the consent of participants be informed and voluntary? The familiarity of these questions, however, belies difficulties faced by researchers and regulators involved in the design and review of translational stem cell trials. In this context, issues are problematized by high degrees of uncertainty concerning the nature and probability of study risks, the absence of accepted normative standards or frameworks for risk assessment, and the limited expertise concerning stem cell science on most institutional review committees.

Keywords

Phase 1 Research ethics Risk Stem cells Translational research 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • James A. Anderson
    • 1
  • Jonathan Kimmelman
    • 2
  1. 1.Biomedical Ethics UnitMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Biomedical Ethics/Social Studies of Medicine/Dept Human GeneticsMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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