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Deliberating or Dithering? Ireland and Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

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Abstract Disagreement about matters of public policy concerned with moral issues is inevitable in pluralist democracies. One approach to the resolution of moral conflicts in society is the concept of deliberative democracy, which emphasises the process or procedure which ultimately allows a political decision to be reached. The Republic of Ireland effectively has no legislative framework regulating human embryonic stem cell research (hESC research). This article proposes that Irish policymakers establish a procedural framework, similar to that used in other European democracies, to allow the development of appropriate regulations pertaining to hESC research in Ireland. In particular the article will consider how a three-tier model of procedural regulation has been used to achieve certainty in the area of hESC research in the United Kingdom and Germany and how this model might be applied to Ireland.

Affiliations: 1: Doctoral Programme, School of Law, University of Manchester UK


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