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Stem Cell Development and the Pathway Model: Scientific Puzzles and Bioethical Issues

Ross, Lauren, N. (2016) Stem Cell Development and the Pathway Model: Scientific Puzzles and Bioethical Issues. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This thesis examines various scientific puzzles and bioethical issues that are related to the pathway model of stem cell development. This model has been criticized in the bioethics and philosophy of science literature by those who claim that it: (1) oversimplifies development in ways that misrepresent scientific understanding,1 (2) leads to poorly informed scientific and clinical decision-making,2 and (3) lacks appropriate justification.3 Robert et al (2006) rely on these points to claim that scientists who rely on this model are acting “unethically,” because the model inaccurately oversimplifies development and suggests unrealistic future therapies.4 In this project I provide an analysis of the rationale that underlies the pathway model in the context of hematopoietic stem cell biology. I suggest that this model is representative of current scientific understanding and that it can be used to appropriately inform decision- making. In order for this model to appropriately figure in various decision-making processes, the assumptions and reasoning strategies that it depends on must be appreciated, as these clarify the scope and limits of the model.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ross, Lauren, N.lnr18@pitt.eduLNR18
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSchaffner, Kennethkfs@pitt.eduKFS
Committee MemberParker, Lisalisap@pitt.eduLISAP
Committee MemberNimgaonkar,
Date: 21 September 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 18 July 2016
Approval Date: 21 September 2016
Submission Date: 2 August 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 43
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Bioethics
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: bioethics; causation, explanation
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2016 14:43
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:35


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