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Fundamentals of the Stem Cell Debate

The Scientific, Religious, Ethical, and Political Issues

Kristen Renwick Monroe (Editor), Ronald Miller (Editor), Jerome Tobis (Editor)


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Few recent advances in science have generated as much excitement and controversy as human embryonic stem cells. The potential of these cells to replace diseased or damaged cells in virtually every tissue of the body heralds the advent of an extraordinary new field of medicine. Controversy arises, however, because current techniques required to harvest stem cells involve the destruction of the human blastocyst. This even-handed, lucidly written volume is an essential tool for understanding the complex issues—scientific, religious, ethical, and political—that currently fuel public debate about stem cell research. One of the few books to provide a comprehensive overview for a wide audience, the volume brings together leading scientists, ethicists, political scientists, and doctors to explain this new scientific development and explore its ramifications.
Introduction: Framing the Controversy

Kristen Renwick Monroe, Ronald B. Miller, and Jerome S. Tobis
1. Stem Cells
Peter J. Bryant and Philip H. Schwartz
2. Therapeutic Uses of Stem Cells
Philip H. Schwartz and Peter J. Bryant
3. Ethical Issues in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Philip J. Nickel
4. Religious Perspectives on Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Mahtab Jafari, Fanny Elahi, Saba Ozyurt, and Ted Wrigley
5. Political Issues in the Stem Cell Debate: The View from California
Lawrence S.{ths}B. Goldstein
6. Roots and Branches of the U.S. National Debate on
Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Lee L. Zwanziger
7. Stem Cell Politics: The Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good
Sidney H. Golub
8. Stem Cell Research: A Concluding Overview
Ronald B. Miller

Kristen Renwick Monroe and Ted Wrigley
Kristen Renwick Monroe heads the University of California at Irvine Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality and is author of The Hand of Compassion: Portraits of Moral Choice during the Holocaust and The Heart of Altruism: Perceptions of a Common Humanity. Ronald B. Miller is Clinical Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine, and a member of the UCI Stem Cell Research Center Advisory Committee. Jerome Tobis is Research Professor and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of California, Irvine.
“This book is a valuable compendium of the various dimensions of the story of stem-cell research.”—New England Journal Of Medicine
“The book should serve as a valuable reference for undergraduate courses that use the stem cell debate as an in-depth case study in modern biomedical ethics. . . . Highly recommended.”—M. R. King Choice
"What the editors have managed to accomplish with Fundamentals of the Stem Cell Debate is very significant. The book is well-informed, sophisticated, and attends to the moral and scientific complexities of stem cell research, rather than sweeping them under the rug. This book encompasses the complexities without sacrificing the other main virtue of the collection: to definitively illuminate the debate for all."—Jason Scott Robert, author of Embryology, Epigenesis, & Evolution: Taking Development Seriously

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