Countries worldwide have very different national regulations on human embryonic stem (ES) cell research, informed by a range of ethical values. Some countries find reason to extend the applicability of their regulations on such research to its citizens when they visit other countries. Extraterritorial jurisdiction has recently been identified as a potential challenge towards global regulation of ES cell research. This chapter explores the implications and impact of extraterritorial jurisdiction and global regulation of ES cell research on researchers, clinicians and national health systems, and how this may affect patients. The authors argue that it would make ethical sense for ES cell restrictive countries to extend its regulations on ES cell research beyond its borders, because, if these countries really consider embryo destruction to be objectionable on the basis on the status of the embryo, then they ought to count it morally on par with murder (and thus have a moral imperative to protect embryos from the actions of its own citizens). However, doing so could lead to a legal situation that would result in substantial harm to central values in areas besides research, such as health care, the job market, basic freedom of movement, and strategic international finance and politics. Thus, it seems that restrictive extraterritorial jurisdiction in respect to ES cell research would be deeply problematic, given that the ethical permissibility of ES cell research is characterised by deep and wide disagreement.
NATURVETENSKAP -- Biologiska vetenskaper -- Biokemi och molekylärbiologi (hsv//swe)