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Stem Cell DialoguesA Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry Into Medical Frontiers$
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Sheldon Krimsky

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167482

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167482.001.0001

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Stem Cell Tourism

Stem Cell Tourism

(p.131) Dialogue 19 Stem Cell Tourism
Stem Cell Dialogues

Sheldon Krimsky

Columbia University Press

In this dialogue, Dr. Rebecca Franklin moderates a heated exchange that took place at a meeting of the International Stem Cell Organization between two individuals who hold polarized views on stem cell tourism: Robert Flossel, a stem cell scientist, and Dr. Barbara Grant, who has argued in a book that there are insufficient ethical standards for clinical trials in Third World nations and wants Western nations to refuse data from trials that do not meet minimum standards. Flossel advocates getting government off the backs of scientists and out of the business of regulating clinical trials. The term “medical tourism” refers to patient travel from industrialized nations to foreign clinics for medical treatment. Here Flossel and Grant express their views on whether stem cell tourism should be supported as the quintessential free market of frontier medical therapies or should be abolished as a cruel commercial abuse of medicine that gives patients false hope. They also discuss the role of the state in protecting its citizens by prohibiting or warning against traveling abroad to receive uncertified experimental treatments with stem cells.

Keywords:   stem cell tourism, clinical trials, Third World, government, medical tourism, medical therapies, patients, experimental treatments, stem cells

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