Ethical, Legal and Social Issues

SCN established and funded a world-leading arms-length research program to examine the key social, legal and ethical implications of stem cell research and, based upon this credible and research-based evidence, has provided critical policy recommendations to government that have impacted not only how research is conducted in Canada, but how Canadians will access potential therapies in the future.

Since its inception, the Stem Cell Network has allocated a portion of its funds to Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) as one of its four strategic research programs. ELSI projects have set the stage for policy development in Canada, and their outcomes have informed SCN investigators conducting research in other fields.

Network-funded projects in the ELSI field included research on stem cell tourism, informed consent, stem cell banking, embryonic stem cells, patents and commercialization. ELSI projects involved multidisciplinary research teams, and were selected based on the recommendations of an external international review team.


Research fed back into the Network’s outreach projects, addressing the ELSI and policy implications of other research programs. The outcomes of many projects were also incorporated into documents available on the SCN website for public consumption. SCN’s robust ELSI research portfolio ensured that stem cell research and innovation in Canada and internationally continued to move forward in a responsible manner.


Related Content

  • 2001-02 Annual Report, p. 7
  • 2006-07 Annual Report, p. 23
  • 2008-09 Annual Report, p. 4
  • 2009-10 Annual Report, p. 12
  • 2012-13 Annual Report, p. 26