In November 1998 biologists announced that they had discovered a way to isolate and preserve human stem cells. Since stem cells are capable of developing into any kind of human tissue or organ, this was a great scientific coup. Researchers envision using the cells to replace damaged organs and to restore tissue destroyed by, for example, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, or even Alzheimer's. But, since stem cells are taken from aborted embryonic and fetal tissue or "leftover" in vitro embryos, their use raises large ethical issues.
University of Toledo Law Review. University of Toledo. College of Law
This essay reviews how cloning techniques may be used for therapeutic purposes, analyzes ethical implications, and makes recommendations for public policy discourse. Although cloning may bring many potential benefits, they remain uncertain. Furthermore, human embryo research is morally problematic. Therefore, alternatives to human cloning for therapeutic aims should be sought at present. In addition to central ethical issues, public discourse should maintain an emphasis on the value of the human embryo over scientific expediency, the relativity of health, and the principle of justice.
The author presents an overview (completed on September 15, 2001) of three issues involved in the ethics of human embryonic stem cell therapy: the ethical implications of some of the scientific issues involved, the specific ethical issues of the moral standing of the early human embryo and the problem of cooperation, and a consideration of two public policy issues: should the research go forward, and what kind of health care system should the United States adopt. The author argues that the public policy questions are the most important agenda.
When a federal judge ruled last week to close off millions of dollars in federal funding for human embryonic stem-cell studies, researchers across the country cringed. "It will stop bright, young people from going into this field because they'll see their careers being threatened," says Richard Hynes, a professor at MIT. However, some organizations, such as the Catholic Health Association, welcomed the decision.
Health care for the indigent is a major problem in the United States. This review of the literature on health care for the indigent was undertaken to determine which major questions remain unresolved. Overall, this article finds that a very large pool of individuals under age 65 are at risk of being medically indigent.
In Finland, municipal health care expenditure varies from FIM 3 800 per capita to FIM 7 800 per capita. The objective of this study was to estimate the impact of different economic, structural and demographic factors on the per capita costs of health services and care of the elderly. Using regression analysis we attempted to explain observed differences in expenditure by determining separately the effects of allocative and productive inefficiency and the effects of factors influencing the demand for services.
Inquiry: A Journal of Medical Care Organization, Provision and Financing
This study examines the relative effects of three policy levers on health coverage and costs in plans aimed at covering all Americans. Specifically, using microsimulation analysis and hypothetical proposals, it assesses how the generosity of financial assistance, an employer mandate, and an individual mandate affect the level of uninsurance, distribution of coverage, and federal costs, holding delivery system and benefits constant. The results suggest that only an individual mandate would cover all the uninsured; neither an employer mandate nor generous subsidies alone would be sufficient.