An Evaluation Regarding the Current Situation of Stem Cell Studies in Turkey

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Abstract

Turkey is in a parallel state to that of other countries for developments in stem cell research and practices. Nevertheless, Turkish law has no regulations for stem cell practices. To define a legal framework for stem cell research, rules of general content should be used as the starting point. In 2005 and 2006, a general regulation and guidelines on stem cell research were published by Turkish Ministry of Health. Thus, the ministry, based on this first general regulation, stopped ldquo;Embryonic Stem Cell Researchrdquo;, while allowing ldquo;Adult Stem Cell Researchrdquo; by a second general regulation. The method of such research was regulated with the addendum of ‘Guidelines for Clinical Research on Non-embryonic stem Cell’. With the latest regulation, clinical stem cell research in Turkey has been based on ‘Regulations for Clinical Research’, which was legislated in 2009. However, the aforementioned regulations by the ministry are still legally binding. In addition, other regulations such as Medical Deontology Regulations of 1960 and Patients' Rights Regulations of 1998 are to be consulted for stem cell research in Turkey. While it is especially important that research that is still at experimental level not provide an opportunity for trade of hope in patients and their relatives, ethics discussions are enlightening in developing regulations and critical evaluation of current practices.

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