Stem cells offer the possibility of major advances in healthcare but research is controversial because the cells are often derived from embryos.
A discussion paper on the key ethical issues, based on discussions held at a round table meeting, was published by the Council in April 2000.read more »
The terms of reference were as follows:
1. To survey and report on the current and prospective medical and scientific uses made of sub-cellular structures, cells and their products, tissue and organs hereinafter referred to as human tissue;
2. To give some account of developments in research and exploitation of tissue, identifying current and potential benefits and current and potential difficulties;read more »
There has been wide debate in the UK about the use of human tissue since the publication of the Council's report, Human Tissue: ethical and legal issues. Follow the links below to find out about developments in the field since the report's publication.read more »
We do not consider that concerns about inappropriate incentives resulting from a potential benefit deriving from the establishment of an EG (embryonic germ) cell line are so great that the donation of fetal tissue for such purposes should be prohibited.read more »
The Council launched a public consultation on human bodies in medicine and research on 20 April 2010.
The Working Party is seeking people's views on a number of questions, including:
How far should we as a society go in encouraging or even incentivising people to provide material?
What control should a person providing material have over its future use?
Should more people be expected to donate organs, eggs and sperm and, if so, how far can we ethically go in encouraging them to donate, asks the Nuffield Council on Bioethics in a consultation launched today. The Council is calling for the public’s views on how we should respond to the current demand for organs, sperm, eggs and other human material for use in medical treatment and research.
Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern, the Chair of the inquiry, said:read more »