Iran Bioethics and Biotechnology Issues Essay

Total Length: 2576 words ( 9 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 12

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Executive summary

Contemporary Biotechnology has produced considerable contribution to the global farming and health sector. Advancement of several medicines, numerous pharmaceuticals, vaccines making use of recombinant DNA technology has made biotechnology a multibillion dollar global industry. Additionally, PCR centered diagnostics has additionally materialized as a crucial element of the health industry. Because vast majority of the Islamic nations have their economies centered on farming, biotechnology has therefore enormous potential to improve efficiency. The need of meals in Islamic nations over the last 2 decades is predicted to improve by nearly half. That boost is going to have to come via changes in agricultural efficiency in marginal, fertile, salt affected as well as rainfed areas. There will probably be much less workforce, arable land and water offered to the agriculture sector. This particular scenario is actually a consequence of reduced rural populace, poor management of water reserves and supplies, environmental degradation along with infertility, and over and above all due to rise in population. To be able to fulfill these issues, technologies like Biotechnology has got to be utilized to resolve a lot of these issues. Exposure of farmers to biotechnological education might inculcate an admiration of biotechnology for growth and development. Capacity-Development schemes and programs might go a very long way in removing issues and uncertainties of the usage of biotechnology in a number of areas. Capacity-development, for instance in the purchase and usage of GMOs in agriculture, field trials, environmental and human impact might elicit a reaction opposite to that currently conveyed due to lack of training. Via national capacity building programs, international cooperation and regional networks developing nations can make use of the possibility of biotechnology as a beneficial instrument for fixing issues of food cravings, illness and poverty. Gradual advancement along with successes are going to bear out the benefits of biotechnology in the long-range for national economic progress and development. Additionally it's time for developing nations to be much more pro-active in determining the unique strengths, weaknesses and competencies in placing the agenda and pace in making use of biotechnology for their unique scientific and national growth and development plans. Recommendations to deal with ethical problems for doing biotechnology research are actually well designed studies, suitable cooperation with ethics commissions and respecting of rights of subjects (both of animal and human rights) in research.


The growth of significant improvements in biomedical technologies, like gamete and SC research, testing of genetics, and embryo donation and therapy, have paved way to the reclassification of what defines life. In the developed world, the ethical and emotional disputes surrounding these systems have been considerable. Throughout the Muslim community, the result has been just as fraught with religious and moral concerns, and also with a comparable loss of consensus. Fatwas (religious decrees)) on these modern day debates vary among the unique Islamic schools; these contemporary Islamic rulings in fact reflect local customs, countries and moral. Marcia Inhorn's (2010) analysis comparing the Shia and Sunni methods to gamete donation and sterility treatment in Lebanon and Egypt pointed to how various Islamic understandings of what's permitted impact government reproductive policies and practice customs. This paper is a discussion on the biotechnology and bioethics in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The discussion reviews the condition of bioethics and biotechnology in Iran and gives policy suggestions.

Background of the problem

The German Procedures for Human Testing, 1931, is actually regarded as the first of its type for scientific and therapeutic study on individuals and continued to be in effect until mid-1940s.

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Moreover, In 1947, the Nuremberg Code (1947) had been enacted that also included procedures on human experimentation (Shahraz, 2002). However, neither of those recommendations contained some reference to genetic research and study (Shahraz, 2002).

In 1991, the US Department of Human and Health Services (DHHS) published the DHHS laws for the safeguard of Human Subjects. The guideline consisted of detailed explanations related to the signidicant bioethical terminology (Shahraz, 2002). Additionally, it outlines the job of the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) in supporting individuals undertaking biomedical research. Similarly, in 1993, the “Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences” or CIOMS in cooperation with the “World Health Organization” WHO has given a several guidelines for biomedical research that makes use of human as subjects (Shahraz, 2002).

In’s scientific accomplishments go a long way back. Before the arrival of Islam, it had been a leader in astronomy and mathematics. Nevertheless, like most of Middle East, its scientific supremacy deteriorated when the Renaissance era started in Europe during the fourteenth century. In the next few centuries, Iran grew gradually and also was not able to grasp its full scientific capacity (Saniei & De Vries, 2008). It's currently beginning to invest substantially in science, and significant developments are actually taking place in ESC exploration with the total support of the authorities.

In 2002, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, declared support for human embryo development and research and then commended the scientists that had created stem cells. Iran's political leaders and clerics have actively promoted technology and science in an effort to improve the country's worldwide status. Based on Iran's Shi'ite religious clergy, biotechnology e.g. stem cell’s therapeutic treatment is actually permissible just in the pre-ensoulment phases involving foetal growth (Larijani and Zahedi, 2008). Because of these liberal positions (religious decisions about an activity being permissible or not) on the usage of biotechnology for therapeutic functions and study, Iran is actually among the first in Islamic nations to create Emboryic Stem Cells (Saniei & De Vries, 2008).

Recently, additional fields related to biotechnology have also made progress in Iran. (Saniei & De Vries, 2008). They're the effects of development in, and cooperation between, research units where stem cells have been prepared and clinical centres where the individuals had been selected, treated, as well as monitored. Moreover, current bioethics groups in Iran comprise of the Ministry of Medical Education and Health, Office of Study for Islamic and humanistic Science on Medical Ethics and Medicine. This office drafted a 27 clause act entitled Protection Code of Human Subject in Medical Research. Included in that Act had been the most crucial ethical delibrations such as informed consent, human rights during research, certifying research projects based on benefits and odds, privacy of subject data, compensation to human subjects who volunteer for research, understanding of religious and cultural implications, watching the rights of individuals and prisoners suffering from mental illness, and carrying out research on fetuses. Aside from the Helsinki Declaration and CIOMS documents, which comprise the scientific foundation of the law, the reports have been tailormade and centered on Code of Shia religious laws and atypical cultural problems of the Iranian public. (Larijani, Zahedi & Malek Afzali, 2005).

Policy options and evaluation criteria

Likely sources of bioethical laws in Islam and Shia School of thought

i. Islam

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Farajkhoda, T., Roudsari, R. L., & Abbasi, M. (2012). Ethical performance in delivery of sexual and reproductive health services: A Delphi study focused on the right of confidentiality. Health Med, 6, 3385-3394.

Inhorn, M. C., Patrizio, P., & Serour, G. I. (2010). Third-party reproductive assistance around the Mediterranean: comparing Sunni Egypt, Catholic Italy and multisectarian Lebanon. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 21(7), 848-853.

Khodaparast, A. H., Abdolahzadeh, A., & Rasekh, M. (2008). A Critical Study of the" Six Ethical Codes for Research" in Iran. Journal of Reproduction & Infertility, 8(4).

King, N. M., & Perrin, J. (2014). Ethical issues in stem cell research and therapy. Stem cell research & therapy, 5(4), 85-85.

Larijani, B., Zahedi, F., & Malek Afzali, H. (2005). Medical ethics in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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