As individual states and private entities move into hES cell research, it is important to initiate a national effort to provide a formal context in which the complex moral and oversight questions associated with this work can be addressed. The state of hES cell research and clinical practice and public policy surrounding these topics are in a state of flux and are likely to be so for several years. Therefore, the committee believes that some body should be established to review the policies and guidelines covering appropriate practices in this field, but not to review and approve specific research protocols, an activity that will best occur at the local institutional level. Such a body should periodically review the adequacy of the guidelines proposed in this report in light of changes in the science and emergence of new issues of public interest. New policies and standards may be appropriate for issues that cannot now be foreseen. The organization that sponsors this body should be politically independent and without conflicts of interest, should be respected in the lay and scientific communities, and able to call on suitable expertise to support this effort.
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