P-130: Ethical Considerations in Stem Cell Therapy


Asemani O *,

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Objective: Stem cell technology is one of the recent breakthroughs in medical researches and therapeutic realms. Many researchers and subsequently lots of patients are hopeful about finding a new way of handling some of incurable impairments applying the technology. The extraction sources of stem cells are different (embryonic, umbilical cord and adult cells); but embryonic stem cells, because of their unique characteristics considered as the most preferable. Despite great deals of advantages, stem cell therapy have brought into being a number of ethical concerns which have also to be dealt with simultaneously. Fears of unrestricted and non-academic behaviors, likely misuses, ignorance the dignity of human embryo, etc. are among propounded disadvantages. In this paper have been attempted within a brief introduce to the concept, types and application of stem cell therapy, its pro and con justifications investigated and analyzed. An overview of Islamic perspectives to the matter has also been presented. Materials and Methods: In this paper have been tried through a descriptive-analytic approach, the pros and cons of stem cell therapy be scrutinized. Conformity of the technology with Islamic jurisprudence foundations has also been performed. Result: More ethical issues of stem cell technology are embryonic source related. One of the most basic disagreements between those in favor and against refers to the time boundary that life begins. Opponents’ criterion of introducing dignity to human beings is the mere genome combination of gametes; so any manipulation of the formed blastocyte, for the aims of cell therapy, considered discontinuation of the life chain and thus murder. Nonetheless, defendants by employing a new term, pre-embryo, put arguments out of the opponents’ subject of discussion. Noteworthy the most prominent claim of pros is alleviating man’s pain and suffering, while cons are concern of some predictable shortcomings like commercialization, eugenic misconduct, women exploitation, etc. Conclusion: Since neither today’s science of stem cell therapy nor other related sciences like ethics, philosophy etc. cannot be responsive to all raised ethical issues, wisdom dictates that the technique considered dangerous. Even though most sectarian guide believe that stem cell therapy is permissible intrinsically, but negative effects might confine its usage to special circumstances. Generally, thorough and deep numinous, philosophical, social, etc. investigations must be performed for achieving a definite religious and scientific rule about the matter.