Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Angela Campbell, Ethos and Economics: Examining the Rationale Underlying Stem Cell and Cloning Research Policies in the United States, Germany, and Japan

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Angela Campbell, Ethos and Economics: Examining the Rationale Underlying Stem Cell and Cloning Research Policies in the United States, Germany, and Japan

Article excerpt

Angela Campbell, Ethos and Economics: Examining the Rationale Underlying Stem Cell and Cloning Research Policies in the United States, Germany, and Japan, 31 AM. J.L. & MED. 47 (2005).

The governance of reproductive science is fraught with controversy in nearly every jurisdiction across the globe. The difficulties that most countries have experienced in devising legislation pertaining to embryonic stem cell and cloning research emanate from the moral ambiguity that characterizes this area of science. Although embryonic stem cell research and cloning technology may ultimately yield pronounced medical and scientific benefit, if they are left unregulated and unsupervised, they may also threaten social health and well-being and devalue human dignity.

While most of the world views stem cell research and cloning technology as morally controversial, the debate surrounding the viability of these practices is shaped, in large part, by the ethos of a given place (i.e., cultural world view and fundamental values) and by domestic economic objectives and circumstances. This article considers the ways in which cultural ethos and economic objectives impact law and policy by examining stem cell research and cloning in each country, the legislative and policy measures taken to address the competing forces underlying this controversy differ from one jurisdiction to another. This article argues that the legal and policy distinctions in the United States, Germany, and Japan are due primarily to each country's unique prevailing economic and cultural circumstances.

The article begins with an overview of the international debate concerning stem cell and cloning science. In part two, the author describes stem cell research and cloning technology and discusses the differences between the two. Part three explains the law and policy adopted by the United States, Germany, and Japan pertaining to embryonic stem cell research and cloning. In part four, the author considers the link between these laws and policies and the cultural and economic realities of these three countries. The analysis demonstrates how important cultural and historical dynamics have resulted in three, apparently different, legislative regimes affecting reproductive science. …

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