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Renewing the Stuff of Life offers the first truly comprehensive picture of the scientific, ethical, policy, social, religious, political, and business issues raied by stem cell research ever since it exploded onto the scene in 1998. It addresses such riveting questions as: should we use cloning and parthenogenesis to create embryos for stem cell research? Is it wrong to develop human-nonhuman chimeras that might house human brains in animal bodies? What social and political forces are driving federal and state stem cell research policies and why? Should stem cell lines be patented? Do we need a national ethics body to guide the development of this research?
Cohen explains just what stem cells are, where they come from, and how they function, bringing in the most recent scientific discoveries in this challenging field. She then takes the reader through the leading secular and religious arguments regarding the compelling question of the moral significance of human embryos. In response, she offers a way to meet our responsibilities both to very early embryos and to those who are sick and suffering that takes account of basic values at the heart of our democratic policy.
The much-maligned notion of human dignity receives new treatment here in an exploration of the moral import of creating human-nonhuman chimeras in stem cell research.