In 2005, the National Academies issued its Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research. These guidelines were prepared to enhance the integrity of human embryonic stem (hES) cell research by encouraging responsible practices in the conduct of that research. They address the many ethical, legal, scientific, and policy issues that are of concern to the public, and the scientific community.
In response to requests from the scientific community for a national body to continue discussions of hES cell research, the National Academies established the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee to:
- monitor and review scientific developments and changing ethical, legal, and policy issues related to hES cell research,
- discuss the need for revisions to the Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, and
- prepare periodic reports to update the Guidelines as needed.
Sources of information considered by the Advisory Committee include public symposia organized by the Committee on developments in stem cell science and new or changing issues in ethics and policy and written comments from members of the scientific community and others on the need to update the guidelines.