Ethos and Economics: Examining the Rationale Underlying Stem Cell and Cloning Research Policies in the U.S., Germany and Japan
American Journal of Law and Medicine, Vol.31, pp.47-86, 2005
41 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2009
This paper examines the impact of a country's cultural and economic forces on its governance of stem cell research and human cloning. Three countries are used as models for this inquiry: the United States, Germany and Japan.
This paper begins with an explanation of the history and science underlying stem cell and cloning research. It then examines American, German and Japanese law relating to these scientific activities. The final part of this paper reveals how legal and policy distinctions in each of these countries are due primarily to their specific economic and cultural realities.
Through this discussion, we see that although the American, German and Japanese approaches to stem cell and cloning science are distinct, they are all characterized by a degree of ambiguity and inconsistency. This results from the competing concerns at play in the stem cell/cloning debate. Cultural norms, scientific freedom, and potential economic gain are all valid and important issues associated with this science. Recognizing this, governments have frequently attempted to incorporate each of these concerns into the legislation that has been crafted in this area. But, because these concerns often conflict with each other, none can be satisfied entirely. This has often resulted in laws and policies that represent a political compromise, which are also internally incongruous.
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