In 2006, the ISSCR developed Guidelines for the Conduct of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (hESC) that addressed the international diversity of cultural, political, legal and religious perspectives on the conduct of this research. The hESC guidelines specify rigorous ethical standards for scientists working with human ESCs, and seek to promote responsible, transparent and uniform practices worldwide. These guidelines were reviewed and updated in 2016, and incorporated into the 2016 Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation.

In developing the 2006 guidelines, the ISSCR assembled a task force of experts in science and medicine, ethics and law from 14 countries. After intensive discussions, the task force presented a draft document at the 4th ISSCR Annual Meeting in June 2006. Feedback was invited and received from many individuals including the leadership of scientific societies and colleagues with expertise in research oversight.

The 2006 ISSCR Guidelines for the Conduct of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research call for special scrutiny of human embryonic stem cell research, define permissible and impermissible experiments, and specify rigorous ethical standards so that scientists worldwide can operate under a uniform code of practice. To facilitate the translation of the guidelines into practice, sample informed consent documents for the procurement of materials for human ESC research and a sample material transfer agreement are also available for download.


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