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Regulating U.S. Stem Cell Research: Predictors of State Legislative and Policy Outcomes

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Abstract:

This paper looks across U.S. states to analyze laws aimed at regulating stem cell and related research and to explain variations in policy outcomes. While scientific developments in the field of stem cell research brought hope for millions of people suffering from various debilitating diseases, it also fired a major, value-driven debate about how to regulate the related research in both national and international arenas. In the United States (U.S.), strong arguments on all sides led to state initiatives that either attempted to compensate for the lack of federal research funding or stepped in to prohibit stem cell and related research. In an effort to understand varying policy outcomes across U.S. states, we examined all stem cell research and related policies either enacted or under debate in the states and developed an instrument to assess these policies on a restrictive-permissive scale. While the scoring confirmed wide variation in stem cell research policies, it also showed, however, that a majority of states adopted moderately permissive or restrictive policies. To explore these legislative and policy outcomes, our analysis also included variables on cloning and abortion policies, which have been discussed in the literature as similar or related policy areas, socio-economic and demographic factors, data on prevalence and importance of research and development in the state economy, and state political and cultural indicators. Also, we built composite variables measuring religiosity, intolerance, good governance, and degree of economic advancement, which we then used together with other socio-economic indicators to develop models with the policy score as the dependent variable. Models were selected based on theoretical meaning, regression diagnostics, and other indicators of overall fit. While engaging approaches to related research as a public good, we ultimately argue, based on our findings, for further efforts to establish national policies on stem cell research and propose options for federal policies. As part of this dialogue, we also address questions of the ethical conduct of such research and approaches to other related issues, such as patents and ownership of research, and also the abuse of women and disadvantaged groups, since studies repeatedly show that they are more likely to be research subjects than beneficiaries of scientific advances.
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Name: The Law and Society Association
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http://www.lawandsociety.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p497150_index.html
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MLA Citation:

McNeely, Connie L. and Vlaicu, Sorina. "Regulating U.S. Stem Cell Research: Predictors of State Legislative and Policy Outcomes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Westin St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco, CA, May 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p497150_index.html>

APA Citation:

McNeely, C. and Vlaicu, S. , 2011-05-30 "Regulating U.S. Stem Cell Research: Predictors of State Legislative and Policy Outcomes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Westin St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco, CA <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p497150_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper looks across U.S. states to analyze laws aimed at regulating stem cell and related research and to explain variations in policy outcomes. While scientific developments in the field of stem cell research brought hope for millions of people suffering from various debilitating diseases, it also fired a major, value-driven debate about how to regulate the related research in both national and international arenas. In the United States (U.S.), strong arguments on all sides led to state initiatives that either attempted to compensate for the lack of federal research funding or stepped in to prohibit stem cell and related research. In an effort to understand varying policy outcomes across U.S. states, we examined all stem cell research and related policies either enacted or under debate in the states and developed an instrument to assess these policies on a restrictive-permissive scale. While the scoring confirmed wide variation in stem cell research policies, it also showed, however, that a majority of states adopted moderately permissive or restrictive policies. To explore these legislative and policy outcomes, our analysis also included variables on cloning and abortion policies, which have been discussed in the literature as similar or related policy areas, socio-economic and demographic factors, data on prevalence and importance of research and development in the state economy, and state political and cultural indicators. Also, we built composite variables measuring religiosity, intolerance, good governance, and degree of economic advancement, which we then used together with other socio-economic indicators to develop models with the policy score as the dependent variable. Models were selected based on theoretical meaning, regression diagnostics, and other indicators of overall fit. While engaging approaches to related research as a public good, we ultimately argue, based on our findings, for further efforts to establish national policies on stem cell research and propose options for federal policies. As part of this dialogue, we also address questions of the ethical conduct of such research and approaches to other related issues, such as patents and ownership of research, and also the abuse of women and disadvantaged groups, since studies repeatedly show that they are more likely to be research subjects than beneficiaries of scientific advances.


Similar Titles:
Ethical Debates on Scientific Practice: Predictors of Policies on Stem Cell Research

Scientists, Elected Officials, and Science-based Policy: The Cases of Global Warming and Stem Cell Research

Two Forms of Participation? Stem Cell Research Regulation and Citizen Participation in a Semi-direct Democracy


 
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