German scientists campaign for liberalisation of stem cell law ahead of crucial parliamentary vote

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 31 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:237
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

    Tensions are growing in Berlin ahead of a parliamentary vote that medical scientists say will determine whether or not Germany can continue to participate effectively in embryonic stem cell research.

    The German parliament, the Bundestag, is scheduled to vote on proposals to liberalise the law on 14 February. The present law does not allow scientists in Germany to grow stem cells from human embryos, and allows them only to import stem cell lines derived from embryos before 2002. German scientists say that they need access to newer stem cell lines to compete and collaborate internationally.

    Oliver Brüstle, a neuropathologist at the University of Bonn, told the BMJ that he and other stem cell scientists have visited Berlin to plead their case with MPs. Opponents …

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