Acta Med. 2008, 51: 121-126

Issues and Ethical Problems of Stem Cell Therapy – Where is Hippocrates?

Lucie Rouskováa, Ivan Hruškab, Stanislav Filipa

aCharles University in Prague, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Hradec Králové, Department of Oncology nad Radiotherapy, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
bUniversity of Hradec Králové, Faculty of Arts, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Received December 1, 2007
Accepted May 1, 2008

Stem cells and their therapeutic use present many questions associated with ethical problems in medicine. There is great effort on the part of physicians to help millions of patients while there are ethical problems with the use of new methods and technologies and all of these are affected by economic and political influences. How will the current generation deal with these problems? Medicine, in this begard, is experiencing a stormy evolution of human culture in the relationships between disease, patient and doctor. Philosophy approaches the same juncture of human culture, but seemingly from the other side. Both disciplines are facing a great problem: How to unite the content of current human morality and the desire for health? Both philosophers and physicians perceive this deficit in human culture as it does not provide immediately usable normatives, which the living generation of healthy and ill is waiting for. It may be said that medicine, as many times before, has reached a stage where it cannot rely only on the proved axiologic values from the past, ethical normatives or cultivated moral sense of its subjects. Medicine has no other alternative than to take an active part in resolution of interdisciplinary problems originating from philosophic-biologic or philosophic-medical inquiries of axiologic, ethical, and moral issues. Our paper indicates some ways of the search in forming ethical principles of the stem-cell therapy from the view of biologists and physicians. New ways are recommended in theoretical-methodological interdisciplinary research, especially, in theoretical and experimental biology, and theoretical and clinical medicine, as well as philosophy. In this paper important ethical problems are pointed out in order to find answers to some key problems connected with cell therapy and the use of stem cells.


This work was supported by Research project MZO 00179906 and MSM0021620820.


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