Charter outlines ethical approach to stem cell work

Anxious to distinguish themselves from a slew of investigators making high-profile claims of unsubstantiated miracle cures, a group of bioethicists and researchers from Canada is proposing a charter to guide reputable scientists working on stem cell therapies.

"It's a wake-up call to scientists to remind them that if they want to work in this field, they have to do so under a scientific code of conduct and it's to reassure the public that this is not the Wild West," says lead author Bartha Knoppers, a bioethicist at McGill University in Montreal. "We'd like to keep it a credible science. We'd like to keep it a science that merits public investment and public funding."

Alan Lewis, president and CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, will propose the charter during a keynote speech to the World Stem Cell Summit in Baltimore, where more than 1,200 scientists have gathered.

"We all have a vested interest in finding cures and moving them to the clinic," James Price, head of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, said in a statement. "This is why we created the Stem Cell Charter. It's something that everyone, whether they are doctors, scientists, policy makers or the general public, can get behind. It unifies us in support of this vital area of research."

- read the story from the CBC

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