Stem cell research has provoked heated debates from ethical, religious, legal, social, and political aspects. According to Jewish legal (Halakhah) perspective, stem cell research is permissible if the cells are obtained from adults, as well as from in vitro fertilized superfluous eggs. Also, cloned fertilized eggs created for nonreproductive purposes are permissible to be used for stem cell research.

General Fundamental Issues

The fundamental ethical/religious issues at stake include the following: the definition of the beginning of life, the human status of an embryo and a pre-embryo, the respect for human material, and the saving of the lives of human beings.

On the one hand, the therapeutic potential of stem cells appears to be very dramatic in its expected ability to cure many devastating and life-threatening degenerative disorders. ...

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