Stem Cell Dialogues: A Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry Into Medical Frontiers

Hardcover | June 23, 2015

bySheldon Krimsky

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Stem cells and the emerging field of regenerative medicine are at the frontiers of modern medicine. These areas of scientific inquiry suggest that in the future, damaged tissue and organs might be repaired through personalized cell therapy as easily as the body repairs itself, revolutionizing the treatment of numerous diseases. Yet the use of stem cells is fraught with ethical and public policy dilemmas that challenge scientists, clinicians, the public health community, and people of good will everywhere. How shall we deal with these amazing biomedical advances, and how can we talk about potential breakthroughs with both moral and scientific intelligence?

This book provides an innovative look at these vexing issues through a series of innovative Socratic dialogues that elucidate key scientific and ethical points in an approachable manner. Addressing the cultural and value issues underlying stem cell research while also educating readers about stem cells' biological function and medical applications, Stem Cell Dialogues features fictional characters engaging in compelling inquiry and debate. Participants investigate the scientific, political, and socioethical dimensions of stem cell science using actual language, analysis, and arguments taken from scientific, philosophical, and popular literature. Each dialogue centers on a specific, recognizable topic, such as the policies implemented by the George W. Bush administration restricting the use of embryonic stem cells; the potential role of stem cells in personalized medicine; the ethics of cloning; and the sale of eggs and embryos. Additionally, speakers debate the use of stem cells to treat paralysis, diabetes, stroke effects, macular degeneration, and cancer. Educational, entertaining, and rigorously researched (with 300 references to scientific literature), Stem Cell Dialogues should be included in any effort to help the public understand the science, ethics, and policy concerns of this promising field.

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Stem cells and the emerging field of regenerative medicine are at the frontiers of modern medicine. These areas of scientific inquiry suggest that in the future, damaged tissue and organs might be repaired through personalized cell therapy as easily as the body repairs itself, revolutionizing the treatment of numerous diseases. Yet th...

Sheldon Krimsky is the Lenore Stern Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at the School of Arts and Sciences and adjunct professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine, Tufts University. His research focuses on the lin...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:June 23, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231167482

ISBN - 13:9780231167482

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Table of Contents

Annotated Table of ContentsAcknowledgmentsIntroductionHarnessing Stem Cells for Regenerative MedicineDialogue 1. HopeDialogue 2. Why Is This Cell Different from Other Cells?Dialogue 3. The President's Stem CellsDialogue 4. The Dickey-Wicker EnigmaDialogue 5. The Moral Status of EmbryosDialogue 6. Creating Good from Immoral ActsDialogue 7. Circumventing EmbryocideDialogue 8. My Personalized Beta Cells for DiabetesDialogue 9. Repairing Brain Cells in Stroke VictimsDialogue 10. Reversing Macular DegenerationDialogue 11. My Stem Cells, My CancerDialogue 12. Reprogramming CellsDialogue 13. My Personalized Disease CellsDialogue 14. To Clone or Not to Clone: That Is the QuestionDialogue 15. Patenting Human Embryonic Stem Cells Is Immoral and Illegal (in Europe)Dialogue 16. My Embryo Is Auctioned on the InternetDialogue 17. Here Comes the Egg Man: Oocytes and Embryos.orgDialogue 18. Human-Animal Chimeras and HybridsDialogue 19. Stem Cell TourismDialogue 20. Social Media Meet Science HypeDialogue 21. Feminism and the Commercialization of Human Eggs/Embryos Dialogue 22. Was My Birth Embryo Me?Dialogue 23. Embryos Without OvariesDialogue 24. My Cells Are DrugsDialogue 25. A Clinical Trial for Paralysis TreatmentEpilogueNotesGlossaryIndex

Editorial Reviews

Evenhanded, eminently readable, up to date, educational, scientifically precise, powerfully researched, and very entertaining, Krimsky's slim volume is one that no scientist, policy-maker, ethicist, or intelligent reader should miss.... Although the stem-cell debate is complex and heated, Krimsky has done more than anyone else to make it tractable, clear, and interesting.