Stem Cell Dialogues

A Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry Into Medical Frontiers

Sheldon Krimsky

Columbia University Press

Stem Cell Dialogues

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Pub Date: April 2017

ISBN: 9780231167499

280 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $26.00

Pub Date: June 2015

ISBN: 9780231167482

280 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $38.00

Pub Date: June 2015

ISBN: 9780231539401

280 Pages

Format: E-book

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Stem Cell Dialogues

A Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry Into Medical Frontiers

Sheldon Krimsky

Columbia University Press

Stem cells and the emerging field of regenerative medicine are at the frontiers of modern medicine. These areas of scientific inquiry suggest that in the future, damaged tissue and organs might be repaired through personalized cell therapy as easily as the body repairs itself, revolutionizing the treatment of numerous diseases. Yet the use of stem cells is fraught with ethical and public policy dilemmas that challenge scientists, clinicians, the public health community, and people of good will everywhere. How shall we deal with these amazing biomedical advances, and how can we talk about potential breakthroughs with both moral and scientific intelligence?

This book provides an innovative look at these vexing issues through a series of innovative Socratic dialogues that elucidate key scientific and ethical points in an approachable manner. Addressing the cultural and value issues underlying stem cell research while also educating readers about stem cells' biological function and medical applications, Stem Cell Dialogues features fictional characters engaging in compelling inquiry and debate. Participants investigate the scientific, political, and socioethical dimensions of stem cell science using actual language, analysis, and arguments taken from scientific, philosophical, and popular literature. Each dialogue centers on a specific, recognizable topic, such as the policies implemented by the George W. Bush administration restricting the use of embryonic stem cells; the potential role of stem cells in personalized medicine; the ethics of cloning; and the sale of eggs and embryos. Additionally, speakers debate the use of stem cells to treat paralysis, diabetes, stroke effects, macular degeneration, and cancer. Educational, entertaining, and rigorously researched (with 300 references to scientific literature), Stem Cell Dialogues should be included in any effort to help the public understand the science, ethics, and policy concerns of this promising field.
Krimsky's use of the dialogue method identifies, sharpens, and advances key points of debate and the breadth of issues being addressed. Ronald M. Green, Dartmouth College
Krimsky is not afraid to introduce the latest, often hyped-up findings and unresolved controversies in stem cell research and to offer a well-balanced discussion of their implications for potential therapies. Hynek Wichterle, Columbia University
This book presents a wonderful new approach to learning about stem cells and thinking about their broader impact at the interface of society, policy, religion, and ethics. Stem Cell Dialogues is highly novel, very engaging, and will open readers to new ways of thinking about the public stem cell debate. It touches on many controversial areas related to stem cells in a well-informed and engaging style. Sheldon Krimsky is able to break down the pros and cons of each argument in a way that makes the stem cell conversation approachable and empowers the reader to draw their own conclusions. Jonathan Garlick, Tufts University
Krimsky's coverage of topics is impressive, much more extensive than other available teaching tools. His approach is remarkably balanced, accessible, and interesting. The dialogues are open-ended, leaving the instructor the freedom to develop different ideas in different directions in the classroom. Julia Pedroni, Williams College
Well-researched and enlightening... Readers will come away with an understanding of the pertinent scientific, political, and moral dilemmas. Library Journal
An important book for anyone interested in the issues surrounding stem cell research. Choice
The inquisitive form certainly fits the subject, which is multifaceted and evolving. Health Affairs
Evenhanded, eminently readable, up to date, educational, scientifically precise, powerfully researched, and very entertaining, Krimsky's slim volume is one that no scientist, policy-maker, ethicist, or intelligent reader should miss.... Although the stem-cell debate is complex and heated, Krimsky has done more than anyone else to make it tractable, clear, and interesting. Hastings Center Report
Annotated Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Harnessing Stem Cells for Regenerative Medicine
Dialogue 1. Hope
Dialogue 2. Why Is This Cell Different from Other Cells?
Dialogue 3. The President's Stem Cells
Dialogue 4. The Dickey-Wicker Enigma
Dialogue 5. The Moral Status of Embryos
Dialogue 6. Creating Good from Immoral Acts
Dialogue 7. Circumventing Embryocide
Dialogue 8. My Personalized Beta Cells for Diabetes
Dialogue 9. Repairing Brain Cells in Stroke Victims
Dialogue 10. Reversing Macular Degeneration
Dialogue 11. My Stem Cells, My Cancer
Dialogue 12. Reprogramming Cells
Dialogue 13. My Personalized Disease Cells
Dialogue 14. To Clone or Not to Clone: That Is the Question
Dialogue 15. Patenting Human Embryonic Stem Cells Is Immoral and Illegal (in Europe)
Dialogue 16. My Embryo Is Auctioned on the Internet
Dialogue 17. Here Comes the Egg Man: Oocytes and Embryos.org
Dialogue 18. Human-Animal Chimeras and Hybrids
Dialogue 19. Stem Cell Tourism
Dialogue 20. Social Media Meet Science Hype
Dialogue 21. Feminism and the Commercialization of Human Eggs/Embryos
Dialogue 22. Was My Birth Embryo Me?
Dialogue 23. Embryos Without Ovaries
Dialogue 24. My Cells Are Drugs
Dialogue 25. A Clinical Trial for Paralysis Treatment
Epilogue
Notes
Glossary
Index

Read the chapter, "Why Is This Cell Different From All Other Cells?":

About the Author

Sheldon Krimsky is the Lenore Stern Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at the School of Arts and Sciences and adjunct professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine, Tufts University. His research focuses on the links among science and technology, ethics and values, and public policy, and he is the author or editor of fourteen books, including Genetic Justice: DNA Data Banks, Criminal Investigations, and Civil Liberties, and 200 book chapters, journal articles, and reviews.