Rapidly developing stem cell research raises questions with dramatic social and ethical implications.

Rapidly developing stem cell research raises questions with dramatic social and ethical implications.
Photo Credit: Paul Sancya/AP/Canadian Press

Stem cell guidelines aim to assure integrity

Share

Stem cell research is evolving so fast that new international guidelines have been developed to insure rigour, oversight and transparency. The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). is the world’s largest professional organization of stem cell scientists and while its new guidelines have no legal clout, flouting them would seriously harm a scientist’s reputation.

‘Confidence is undermined’

Scientists and the media are urged to not exaggerate the findings of stem cell research. “It’s really, really critical that patients maintain confidence in the clinical research and the basic research that’s going on in stem cell science,” says Jonathan Kimmelman, associate professor of bioethics at McGill University and chair of the ethics committee of the ISSCR.

Listen

“We really desperately need the collaboration of patients when they enroll in clinical trials. And we need the support of taxpayers. That confidence is undermined whenever we proclaim the benefits and the potential of stem cell science and we can’t deliver on it.

Prof. Jonathan Kimmelman says exaggerated claims about stem cell research have spawned unrealistic patient expectations and unscrupulous clinics that take advantage of them.
Prof. Jonathan Kimmelman says exaggerated claims about stem cell research have spawned unrealistic patient expectations and unscrupulous clinics that take advantage of them. © Claudio Calligaris/McGill University handout/CP

Unscrupulous clinics thrive on exaggerated claims

“Another major concern is that if patients have unrealistic optimism about the clinical applications of stem cell science, they may be inclined to travel to overseas clinics or other unscrupulous clinics that offer potentially unsafe and unproven stem-cell-based interventions outside of the trial setting. That’s a concern because patients are potentially putting themselves at risk, paying large fees and not necessarily getting competent care at these unethical clinics,” says Kimmelman.

The guidelines are designed to reassure patients, hospitals and other medical stakeholders.

Share
Categories: Health, Internet, Science and Technology, Society
Tags: , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*