Ethical Considerations of Tissue Engineering

Different approaches address ethical considerations of tissue engineering: research ethics, socioeconomic issues and anthropological issues. The questions they raise are likely to feed future debates.

Research ethics

When asking the consent of cell donors, it is important to inform them of the use of their tissue. But will researchers explain clearly what they will do with the cells and what kind of tests they will perform? Will the information provided be sufficient?

Can the human body and its parts be subject to property rights?

Socioeconomic and political issues

What will be the cost of tissue engineering products and treatments?

Who will finance the research? The government or the private sector?

Who will be given priority to receive these treatments? Young people with congenital diseases or the elderly who suffer from degenerative diseases?

Anthropological issues

Is it ethically right to fight the negative effects of ageing? Is extending life always a good thing?

Have we thought about the consequences of having an ageing society?

Should we use tissue engineering to enhance human capabilities?

Author :Pauline Boinot, M.Sc.


De Vries R., Oerlemans A., Trommelmans L., Dierickx K., Gordijn B., (2008), Ethical Aspects of Tissue Engineering : A Review, Tissue Engineering : Part B, 14 (4) : 367-375

Trommelmans L., Selling J., Dierickx K., (2007), Ethical Issues in Tissue Engineering, European Ethical-Legal Papers N°7, Leuven

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