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The Observatory of Bioethics and Law in support of the Hinxton Statement on stem cell research

By 19 de April de 2006November 18th, 2020No Comments
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The Observatory of Bioethics and Law in support of the Hinxton Statement on stem cell research

The Observatory on Bioethics and Law () has expressed its support of the regarding research on embryonic stem cells, made by sixty specialists, researchers, legal experts, specialists in bioethics and editors of scientific journals from 14 countries. The preparation of this statement, developed in Hinxton (UK), involved Josep Santaló, member of the OBD and researcher with the Dept. of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

The statement of the so-called Hinxton Group represents the agreement of scientists from several countries on trans-national cooperation in medical research on stem cells, a field in which researchers encounter large variations in legislation. In support of this statement, the OBD upholds that “research into stem cells is one of great promise for the design of new therapies for diseases that cause great suffering. For rapid progress in this research, intra- and international collaboration is vital”. In this debate, experts have also considered ethical and legal questions on research into human embryos, and have debated oocyte donation, reproductive cloning and, above all, the scientific fraud of Dr. Hwang.

The Hinxton Group has reached a consensus that humankind can benefit from stem cell research if it is conducted in an ethically acceptable manner. In this regard, the Group has proposed a list of 19 points among which special mention is given to the following:
– Given the potential benefits for human well-being, the legislation on stem cell research must be highly flexible in order to maintain the rhythm of scientific progress. Furthermore, scientists need a clear legal framework that ensures acceptable ethical and legal standards in which to work. This is without doubt one of the main conclusions of the Hinxton Group.
– Stem cell research must comply with internationally accepted ethical norms regarding the well-being, liberty and rights of cell and tissue donors as well as research participants.
– In countries that prohibit embryonic stem cell research, international collaboration in this field should not be restricted. Thus, researchers should be able to travel to countries that allow these research activities.
– Given that embryonic stem cells are a precious resource for research and that international collaboration is vital to scientific progress, the Consensus Statement encourages researchers to submit any stem cell lines obtained from their research to national or international depositories that are available to the public and other researchers.
– The Hinxton Group recommends the development of a database that includes the ethical standards for this type of research, specific research procedures, consent forms for donors and participants in experiments, and information provided to these individuals.
– Furthermore, the Hinxton Group calls for an international consensus on the ethical requirements of stem cell research.