Stem Cell Research and Social Justice: Aligning Scientific Progress with Social Need

Oct 22, 2016

Authors: Brooke Ellison
Ellison, B. Curr Stem Cell Rep (2016). doi:10.1007/s40778-016-0063-3

Abstract: As stem cell research moves toward clinical translation and therapeutic application, ethical focus must be broadened to include questions about the interface of science and society. Among these societal questions is how to conduct this research in a socially just manner, as well as how and why stem cell research ought to be used as a vehicle to advance social justice imperatives. This article provides an overview of justice as a social and philosophical construct, and how it can be incorporated into science discussions. This review then addresses prominent social justice challenges, especially as they relate to biomedical research and healthcare, and how stem cell research might be a mechanism to reduce the burden of these injustices. Finally, this article concludes with ways to structure our ethical thinking and scientific debate in order to determine if stem cell research is being pursued in a socially just manner.

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