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BBVA Foundation international study on attitudes to stem cell research
Date:5/14/2008

led out as treatments for what are seen as serious diseases (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or diabetes), a majority in all countries declare themselves in favor of such research. The mean agreement with the assertion that research with stem cells from embryos that are a few days old should be supported as a means of finding effective treatments for diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or diabetes as soon as possible was above the midpoint in every country with the exception of Austria, and exceeded 6 points in nine cases, with Spanish and Czech citizens agreeing most strongly.

Besides moral objections, this kind of research meets with other reservations to do with ideas of what is natural or unnatural and concern about interfering with or altering the balance of nature. Citizens in most of the survey countries tended to agree that research with human embryos that are a few days old is an unacceptable interference into the natural processes of life, with agreement being firmest in Germany, Austria, Poland and Israel.

There is also widespread concern that this kind of research may lead to other more dubious uses. The idea that allowing research with embryos that are a few days old in order to obtain stem cells for use in medicine will open the door to other morally reprehensible uses meets with considerable approval even in the countries favorably disposed to this application. The consensus round this view is especially marked in France, Germany and Japan.

At the same time, research using embryonic stem cells touches on the moral or ethical framework of each individual, and in this sense moral criteria of religious inspiration are a key explanatory vector. In a context of plural opinions, the data show that the dominant view of the moral condition of the few-day-old human embryo is that it is close or identical to that of a human being. The strictly biological view finds widest support in Denmark and Sweden, where opinions are more equally d
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Contact: Communication Department
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Fundacin BBVA
Source:Eurekalert

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