A moral gap?
Examining Ireland’s failure to regulate embryonic stem cell research
in Ethical and legal debates in Irish healthcare
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This chapter discusses the legal and ethical issues that arise in regulating embryonic stem cell research in Ireland. It outlines three approaches Irish policy makers may take to the difficult ethical debate: a restrictive approach, a permissive approach or an intermediate approach. The chapter analyses the current status of embryonic stem cell research in Ireland. It argues that although the Irish courts seem to support the intermediate approach, the lack of legislative guidance has left the embryo without legal protection. The chapter advocates a national discussion on the status of the embryo in order to develop a regulatory framework that both protects the embryo and accommodates embryonic stem cell research.

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