The International Stem Cell Forum (ISCF) is made up of twenty-one funders of stem cell research from around the world. It was founded in January 2003 to encourage international collaboration and funding support for stem cell research, with the overall aim of promoting global good practice and accelerating progress in this vitally important area of biomedical science.
• The ISCF’s background and aims
• The Member organizations
• Forum initiatives and the working groups that are taking them forward
• Members’ press contacts for journalists
The Forum’s long-term aim is to help stem cell scientists achieve a range of revolutionary medical advances that will benefit people throughout the world. These potentially include:
Major new insights into fundamental cell biology and developmental processes.
Cell-based treatments to repair or replace human tissues damaged through injury.
Treatments for a wide range of serious degenerative diseases that affect millions of people world-wide and for which there are currently no cures.
ISCF key principles
ISCF Members have agreed a set of key principles that determine their approach to stem cell research, which are:
• Opposition to human reproductive cloning
• Use of adult somatic human stem cells as well as embryonic human stem cells
• The generation of embryonic human stem cell lines should be minimized
• International harmonization of ethical and intellectual property right issues
It is only a small number of countries allow stem cell research due to the risks involved in it. Most other countries either permit Vitro research with embryos with no mention of stem cells or limit the creation of stem cells lines to surplus Vito fertilization under certain conditions (International Stem Cell Forum Ethics Working Party). Several countries permit the creation of embryos for only research purposes, but it must be shown that the research cannot be achieved without the use of other stem cells (Kilner). Most countries that allow the human embryonic stem cell deviation from hum embryos. The common principles and procedures include: respect for life; autonomy; donor and/or patient privacy; no commercialization; avoidance and declaration of conflicts of interest; imitation to therapeutic purposes; ethic review before commence of study; and the trace ability of cell lines with respect to their sources (International Stem Cell Forum Ethics Working Party).
Due to the absence of a formal ethics framework to stem cell research, many countries have added more strict and effective practice. They did such by requiring licensing to ensure personnel and the quality and safety the stem line (International Stem Cell Forum Ethics Working Party). Other requirements include the insurance that stem cell lines are limited to only countries that meet the ethical requirements of the host country (Kilner). Many of the guidelines and laws ensure the continual review of changing scientific and socioeconomic norms. Another requirement is that they included the monitoring of researching using lines in stem cell banks.
“International Stem Cell Forum Ethics Working Party.” 312.5772 (2006): 366-67. JSTOR. Web.
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Condic, Maureen L. “Getting Stem Cells Right.” First Things: A Monthly Journal Of Religion &
Public Life 180 (2008): 10-12. Humanities Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 10 Dec. 2012.
Kilner, John F. “An Inclusive Ethics For The Twenty-First Century: Implications For Stem Cell
Research.” Journal Of Religious Ethics 37.4 (2009): 683-722. Humanities Full Text
(H.W. Wilson). Web. 10 Dec. 2012.