Bartha Maria Knoppers

Bartha’s role in creating frameworks for the advancement of stem cell research is critical at a time of intense debate about the ethics of medical science. As both bioethicist and lawyer, Bartha is Past Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO). She is Chair of the Ethics Working Party of the International Stem Cell Forum, as well as Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University in Montreal.

Bioethics & Stem Cells

It’s impossible to have a discussion about stem cell science without touching on ethical and moral issues. The world is a diverse place, with diverse values. For example, debates continue about the source of cells — adult versus embryonic stem cells.

Despite this, Bartha Knoppers believes it is very possible to develop an ethical framework in which stem cell science can be pursued for the benefit of all humanity, while at the same time respecting important human values. In her effort to create such a framework, Bartha has compiled laws and policies from 44 countries. She’s analyzed the commonalities in stem cell policies, looked at what’s permitted and what’s prohibited as part of her exhaustive attempts to understand accepted ethical principles and regulation of research.

Out of this have grown guidelines and frameworks adopted by international organizations. These frameworks are intended to provide a context for ethical conduct, while supporting the tremendous potential that stem cell science holds for the peoples of the world. And for humanity as a whole.