The Ethics of Human Stem Cell Research

An Educational Activity

Compiled by Kristen Hessler
For the Biotechnology Outreach Education Center
Iowa State University


In this activity, you will break into groups to review various ethical positions on stem cell research. All groups will read the introductory material from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Then each group (NIH, CAMR, President Bush, Do No Harm) will read its own group’s statement on stem cell research and fill out the questionnaire (PDF file). We will then convene to discuss each group’s ethical views on stem cell research and their arguments for their views. Each group will be asked to select a representative to present their group’s views and arguments.


After completing this activity, participants will be able to:

a. Identify common positions in the debate about the ethics of stem cell research;
b. Analyze ethical arguments;
c. Formulate, defend, and discuss productively with others their own views about the ethics of stem cell research.


"Embryonic Stem Cells: Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison"

National Institutes of Health (NIH):
"Stem Cell Basics"

Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR):
"Fast Action!"

The White House: President George W. Bush:
“Remarks by the President on Stem Cell Research”

Do No Harm:
“On Human Embryos and Stem Cell Research: An Appeal for Legally and Ethically Responsible Science and Public Policy”

Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research

Recent Developments:

“Focus on Stem Cells”

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Published by: Office of Biotechnology, Bioethics Outreach
Ames, Iowa 50011-3260, (515) 294-9818,
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Last Update 07/01/04