Neural Transplantation and Medical Ethics: A Contemporary History of Moral Concerns Regarding Cerebral Stem Cell and Gene Therapy

  • Heiner Fangerau
  • Norbert W. Paul
Reference work entry


The possibilities of brain transplantation, neural transplants, and neural grafting as well as early approaches of gene therapies have inspired the fantasies and optimism of both scientists and the public. They have also caused hopes and fears at the same time, which are reflected in ethical debates about their use and usefulness in medicine. Based on the scientific and public discourse about neural transplants and genetic interventions in a broad understanding, the aim of this chapter is to reconstruct the major aspects of the development of a medical technology and the ethical concerns, which have accompanied its application since the 1890s. Ethical debates may vary in different countries based on different cultures and traditions. Therefore, we must stress that the main focus of this chapter is based on the English and German literature.


Gene Therapy Personal Identity Fetal Tissue Genetic Intervention Severe Combine Immune Deficiency 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History, Philosophy and Ethics of MedicineUniversity of UlmUlmGermany
  2. 2.History, Philosophy, and Ethics of MedicineJohannes Gutenberg University Medical CenterMainzGermany

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