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Book and Media Reviews
April 9, 2008

Stem Cell Century: Law and Policy for a Breakthrough Technology

JAMA. 2008;299(14):1725-1726. doi:10.1001/jama.299.14.1725

The Preface to Stem Cell Century: Law and Policy for a Breakthrough Technology demonstrates the controversial, often adversarial subject the authors have undertaken. What began as a book coauthored by 2 UCLA law professors has devolved into a predominantly solo effort due to “differences in our substantive views and preferred style of presentation.” If 2 colleagues cannot reach agreement to complete a book on the topic of stem cell research and its societal ramifications, then the fractious stem cell debate presently simmering will certainly boil over as the issue comes to the forefront of the rhetoric associated with the presidential election of 2008. Coauthor Russell Korobkin—who takes sole responsibility for the entire book save the coauthored chapter 4—boldly asserts in the preface that of the many books recently published on the subject of stem cells, “[n]one of them is like this one.” Stem Cell Century delivers on this assertion, thoroughly and engagingly charting the history of the stem cell debate and predicting its future course while persuasively arguing for laws, protocols, and procedures that will maximize benefits and minimize moral conundrums regarding one of the most divisive challenges facing the nation.

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