;   Medical Translation Insight: Stem cell research continues, moral or not - ForeignExchange Translations

Stem cell research continues, moral or notOver the past week, a couple of new clinical trials involving stem cells were announced. StemCells has filed for Swiss regulatory approval for the first clinical trial of its nerve stem cells in patients with spinal cord injuries as much as a year old and ReNeuron announced that the first patient has been treated with a stem cell therapy for stroke in a U.K. trial.

Ever since researchers first reported that they had isolated human embryonic stem cells in 1998, stem cell research has been the subject of lots and lots of controversy. Much of the disagreements center on the fact that the embryonic stem cells come from, well, embryos. Pro-life and religious groups argue that an embryo represents a human life and that embryonic stem cell work is equivalent to murdering human lives.

For medical translation providers, working on these kinds of assignments raises important questions about the value of the research, ones job, and life in general. Should we pursue stem cell research just because we can? If I translate documents from a stem cell clinical trial, am I participating in the taking of human life?

As the responses to our recent survey Refusing translations on ethical, moral, political, or religious grounds? highlighted, the answers are deeply personal.

And as these clinical research announcements show, the research into and using stem cells (embryonic and otherwise) continues.

[Thanks, Justin, for the tip!]

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1 Comment:

  1. Justin Clark said...
    Without getting too far in to a debate on the issue, I think, like any ethical conflict, its important to evaluate it from both sides.

    The other side of the ethics of stem cells would be the potential life-changing and life-saving therapeutic implications for patients with "Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal cord injury, burns, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis" (from stemcells.nih.gov).

    Much like the ethics of translation discussion a few weeks back, everyone is going to have their own opinion, and decision on this, but I feel its fair to present the case for both sides of the ethical dilemma.

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