Of clones, stem cells, and children: Issues and challenges in human research ethics

Eric M. Meslin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In the past 3 years, five scientific stories captivated the media and public attention: a sheep, Dolly, was cloned in Scotland; two scientific teams in the United States reported that they had isolated human stem cells; Jesse Gelsinger, an 18-year-old patient, died in a gene transfer experiment at the University of Pennsylvania; Vanderbilt University reported that it is providing fetal surgery for meningomyelocele; and researchers announced that a herd of previously cloned cows appears to be genetically younger than had been expected. These reports illustrate important issues in the ongoing discussion about research on children; indeed some of them challenge the breadth of the definition of research on children. This article, originally presented at an International Symposium sponsored by UNESCO on Bioethics and the Rights of the Child, describes how the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) addressed two of these subjects-cloning and stem cell research-and identifies five challenges that science and society must address in the face of such emerging research technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-841
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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