Stem cell therapy is an imperative development in science and medicine that is heavily regulated worldwide. With the potential to cure illnesses, help understand disease development, and advance regenerative medicine, a harmonized regulatory policy is crucial to capitalize on the benefits of stem cells. This article examines an important topic of discussion surrounding stem cell therapy and research: the political debate on how and when embryonic stem cells can be used. In addition to examining ethical challenges, this article discusses the legal challenges surrounding using embryonic stem cells to inform regenerative therapies. Specifically, this article will examine the National Institute of Health’s Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research and the historic avenues of federal and state legislation to regulate the use of these cells in research. This article discusses the internal and external inconsistencies of the United States’ current regulation of embryonic stem cells and how the divide between states is problematic for the United States’ completive stance in developmental science and medicine. Finally, this article contemplates a cohesive regulatory system influenced by individual states and other countries that currently lead the medical field, to form a united front in approaching the use of stem cells.
Creating a United Front: Harmonizing the United States Regulatory Policies Surrounding Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research,
SMU Sci. & Tech. L. Rev.