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Patients' Voices: The Powerful Sound in the Stem Cell Debate

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Science  25 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5457, pp. 1423
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5457.1423

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Abstract

Millions of patients may benefit from the applications of stem cell research, although there is disagreement about whether public funds should be used to develop the science. Patients have been key to winning political support. Acting as advocates, they have contended that public investment will speed the research and bring accountability to biomedical technology. A political dispute about the new research, which holds the potential for cures to devastating diseases and to foster healthy aging, shows the need to respect public sensibilities and to court public approval, as well as the importance of involving patients in debates where the methods of biomedical discoveries and ethical beliefs collide.

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