Ethical and legal aspects of stem cell practices in Turkey: where are we?

Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (12):833-837 (2008)
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Abstract

Advances in medical technology and information have facilitated clinical practices that favourably affect the success rates of treatment for diseases. Regenerative medicine has been the focus of the recent medical agenda, to the extent of fundamentally changing treatment paradigms. Stem cell practices, their efficacy, and associated ethical concerns have been debated intensively in many countries. Stem cell research is carried out along with the treatment of patients. Thus, various groups affected by the practices inevitably participate in the discussions. In addition to discussions based on avoiding any harm, providing benefits and respecting personal autonomy and justice, problems arise owing to the lack of legal regulations for stem cell research and practice. The dimensions of the problems vary in the developing countries, with widespread use of advanced medical technology but with lack of sources allocated for healthcare, dominance of paternalistic physician–patient relationships and failure to achieve a sufficient level of awareness of patients’ rights. This article discusses the current situation of stem cell practices within the context of regenerative medicine in Turkey and ethical concerns about some of the legal regulations, such as the Regulation for Umblical Cord Blood Banking and Guidelines for Non-embryonic Stem Cell Study for Non-clinical Purposes directing the research on this issue.

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