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Stem Cell Research Legislation

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The regulation of stem cell research has been developed in United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. These regulatory systems are concerned with research that involves human embryos and cloning. In UK, stem cell research is regulated by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act (1990) while as in US it is determined by state laws. Stem cell research was introduced in Canada in 2002 by an Act respecting assisted human reproduction and the Canadian institutes of health research (Korobkin, & Munzer, 2007). In the same year, legislation covering human embryonic stem cell research and cloning was adopted in Australia. The use of fetal tissue is regulated by the respective legislation. This paper will give a brief history of stem cell research legislation, an in-depth analysis of stem cell research legislation in United States and compare its legislation in different states.

Brief history of stem cell research

Before 1990, embryo research was not regulated although it continued to take place. It was in 1982 when the department of health and social security in UK set up a committee to inquire into Embryology and human fertilization. After a couple of debates, Human fertilization and Embryology Act was enacted. This allowed the use of human embryos in stem cell research. Other nations such as china followed suit and enacted the law in their respective nations. However, some countries have prohibited stem cell therapist from providing these treatments to patients and patients found seeking the same treatment are branded as criminals. They have been prohibited from traveling to other countries to receive the treatment (Steenblock, & Paye, 2006).

Stem cell research in United States

Laws and procedures can generate a friendly or antagonistic environment that can endorse or hamper technology execution and utilization. The opening of rules and articulation of policies that openly encourage or bar the use of technology will significantly manipulate government, profit-making, and individual verdicts. For example, the restraining of human embryonic stem cell research legislation in the United States has created a more antagonistic atmosphere for researchers and pharmaceutical companies. The United States forbids the use of national funding for human embryonic stem cell research that demolishes an embryo (Gunning, et al, 2007).

National funding is limited to reputable human embryonic stem cell lines that existed before August 9, 2001. State laws, nevertheless, can fund or ban such research through state-level legislation (Anon.  “What have been the latest developments in the stem cell controversy?” 2008).

Comparison with other states

On the issue of stem cell research, for instance, the Brazilian attorney general is on the lookout to repeal a law that permits the use of human embryos for research reasons. He squabble that life starts at fertilization of an egg by a sperm, an observation maintained by many well-known scientists in Brazil. This contradicts to the point of view of the Brazilian health minister, and World Health Organization (WHO), which declares that life starts only as soon as an embryo affixes itself to a woman’s womb (Goldstein, & Schneider, 2010).

Certainly, the debate is wide-reaching and many nations have crossed the threshold into domestic forethought on the subject matter. In the United States, the legislative body has talked about the matter for a number of years; President Bush had barred stem cell legislation twice. On a national level, for that reason, only regulations that ascertain the use of national funds for exertion with human embryonic stem cells have been recognized, and these merely by presidential inventiveness. On a national level, the regulations differ far and wide (LeVine, 2006). In California, such investigate is permitted but reproductive cloning is not; in a number of nations, the entire human embryonic stem cell research is barred. The US legislative body is still taking into account legislation on stem cell research, and stem cells played a supporting role during the 2004 presidential election.

Countries with lenient rules on stem cell research comprise: India, china, and the United Kingdom. In these nation states, stem cells may perhaps be a resultant of a wide diversity of sources, including the cradling of human stem cells from embryos formed particularly for research use all the way through somatic cell nuclear shift (Kerridge, et al, 2005). Countries with stretchy legislation put a boundary on the methods of tolerable stem cell procurement. In states such as Canada, human embryonic stem cells may well be a derivative of unexploited embryos formed for the purpose of in vitro fertilization agreed that appropriate consent dealings are followed. Embryos may possibly not, though, be created expressly for research purposes using somatic cells nuclear shift (Koka, 2008).


Stem cell research legislation has been recognized in many nation states such as United Kingdom, China and India. These countries permit use of embryos for stem research. However there are a number of nations that are yet to accept assert their legislation for the stem cell research. One of these nations is United States which strongly opposes the research. It has been noted that, the then president George Bush vetoed the research twice while he was still president. Discussions are still going on as to whether the research should be allowed and funded by the federal government. 

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