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Human Embryonic Stem Cell (HESC) Research in Malaysia: Multi-faith Perspectives


Foong, P, Human Embryonic Stem Cell (HESC) Research in Malaysia: Multi-faith Perspectives, Asian Bioethics Review, 3, (3) pp. 182-206. ISSN 1793-8759 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 Asian Bioethics Review

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DOI: doi:10.1353/asb.2011.0034


Stem cell research, Human embryonic stem cell (HESC) research is important and yet controversial. The research, which involves the use of donated excess in vitro fertilisation (IVF) embryos and embryos created through the cloning technology, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), aims at a better understanding of diseases and it could lead to improved medical treatments including cell based therapies which are genetically matched to the patient. However, HESC research is contentious as all extractions of embryonic stem cells involve the destruction of human embryos, which raises serious ethical issues.

In multi-religious Malaysia, there are different perspectives of a variety of faiths on the research. While majority of Malaysia's population are Muslims, there are also large numbers of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs. This article explores, discusses and compares the different religious perspectives of these main religions of the nation. Interviews were conducted with representatives of the religions which included religious leaders, religious scholars, a pastor, priests and monks. While it is acknowledged that it is a challenge to achieve consensus on the ethics of HESC research in a multi-religious society, it is argued that conducting public consultations that involve the main religions of the nation is important.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Malaysia, human embryonic stem cell, HESC, Islam, Muslim, religion, ethics, consensus
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Public law
Research Field:Public law not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Foong, P (Mr Patrick Foong)
ID Code:75441
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2012-01-30
Last Modified:2012-12-06

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