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From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.


The potential for an international consensus on these matters (stem cell research) seems
remote given the complexity and diversity of regulatory frameworks in this controversial area of
science, both within nations and between nations.

Embryonic stem cell research has divided the international community. In the European Union,
stem cell research using the human embryo is permitted in Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Greece,
Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands; however it is illegal in Germany, Austria, Ireland, Italy,
and Portugal. The issue has similarly divided the United States, with several states enforcing a
complete ban and others giving financial support. Elsewhere, Japan, India, Iran, Israel, South
Korea, and China are supportive, Australia is partially supportive (exempting reproductive
cloning yet allowing research on embryonic stem cells that are derived from the process of IVF);
however New Zealand, most of Africa (excepting South Africa) and most of South
America (excepting Brazil) are restrictive.


Stem Cell Research Around the World

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 4 Jan 2017 |

While stem cell research is widely recognised and funded in the United Kingdom (UK), policies
and efforts in other parts of the world vary a great deal.
It's interesting to note the different approaches to stem cell research, which are often vastly
different even in westernised nations. Also, those nations with a strong religious presence,
particularly Roman Catholic, tend to be less supportive of stem cell research, if not adamantly
opposing its progress.

United States
The United States (U.S.) generally limits the release of federal funding for embryonic stem cell
research. Instead, it supports a small number of pre -2001 stem cell lines produced from
embryos leftover following in vitro fertilisation. It does not, however, prevent private funding nor
does it limit and regulate state and local funds.

Canadian laws are somewhat flexible in the field of stem cell research. In 2005, a boost of just
over 5 million dollars was directed to support experiments investigating the use of adult stem
cells to replace damaged cells in the heart, lungs or blood vessels. Those embryos that are
leftover from failed in vitro fertilisation may be used but therapeutic cloning is not allowed.
Canadian policy is such that any embryo created with the purpose to utilise stem cells, which is
then destroyed after stem cell extraction, is unacceptable.

European Union (EU)

Although the EU does not directly fund stem cell research that results in embryonic destruction,
it does still fund other stem cell research areas. Once independently approved and deemed
ethically acceptable, funds are directed to the appropriate source.
Within Europe, policies do still vary and the majority of stem cell research is funded nationally,
with the primary funding focus allotted to adult stem cells rather than embryonic. Top supporters
of stem cell research include the UK, Sweden and Belgium.

South Korea
South Korea has made strong advancements in stem cell research, due to very flexible policies
regarding research. These policies are not supported by all nations though and South Korea's
advancement may essentially propel the nation to the forefront of stem cell research. South
Korean researchers have been able to rapidly and successfully produce stem cells that are a
perfect genetic match to patients of all races, genders and so forth. Their progress in
therapeutic cloning means they can efficiently produce stem cells tailored to the individual and
with a low risk of immunological rejection.

Germany, Austria and Italy

Policies regarding stem cell research in these countries are much stricter. Research involving
embryonic stem cells is either prohibited or severely restricted. In fact, it was in 2006 that
Germany pushed for a ban on all embryonic stem cell research in the EU, immediately after the
U.S. shot down a bill set to extend such research. Whether Germany's actions were directly
prompted by the U.S. is debatable but certainly, policies in one nation can have an enormous
impact on those of another.

Australian policies are comparatively relaxed from an international standpoint. Recent laws have
been approved for therapeutic cloning although reproductive cloning, as with the rest of the
international community, is still strictly condemned. Embryos cloned for therapeutic use
therefore may not be implanted in a womb. Furthermore, they must be discarded within two

Switzerland actually addressed stem cell research in a national referendum, with the outcome
being approval for embryonic stem cells that are unused and would otherwise be discarded
following in vitro fertilisation. For more information about in vitro fertilisation visit Swiss laws
strongly prohibit reproductive cloning or the creation of an embryo specifically for stem cell
research purposes.

Originally, scientists were only allowed to use embryos frozen prior to 2003. This, however, changed
when it was decided that embryos available for research could also include any that are frozen within two
weeks of conception. The law further extends to allow parents who have children with incurable diseases
to conceive a new embryo and utilise stem cells, thereby providing a tissue donor. This procedure would
be used after all other options have been exhausted, so it is not a primary means for treatment.
It can be a difficult scientific and ethical balance for policies to reflect the desire for progress in managing
disease along with the importance of maintaining the collective moral views of a nation. Today, stem cell
research is still fraught with debate, both within and between nations. The variation in policies throughout
the world clearly demonstrates the exciting therapeutic potential coupled with ethical criticisms of stem
cell research.