Human stem cells, particularly embryonic stem cells, have unlimited capacity to develop into different types of cells such as muscle cells, nerve cells, heart cells, blood cells and others. Therefore, human stem cells hold the promise of a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat an ever growing list of human diseases and conditions, including Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal cord injury, burns, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.

On the other hand, stem cell research has led to great controversy. The controversy centers on the ethics of conducting research involving the generation, usage and destruction of human embryonic stem cells. But it should be noted that new approaches and innovative strategies have yielded human stem cells without destruction of embryos via generating pluripotent stem cells from adult cells.

The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has developed a policy for the ethical use of human stem cells in research. The policy provides guidance and procedures under which proposed research in this area, conducted in Qatar publicly or privately funded, is ethically responsible, scientifically worthy, and conducted in accordance with national and international laws.

The SCH presentation will introduce the research community to what is allowed and not allowed in research involving human embryonic stem cells in Qatar.


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  • Received: 05 March 2012
  • Accepted: 28 March 2012
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