Strategic working groups  ELSA

    Ethical, legal and social aspects

    Initiators: Tobias Cantz (Hannover) and Sara Gerke (Cambridge, US)

    The GSCN working group ELSA (‘Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of the Modern Life Sciences’) aims to serve as a Germany-wide interdisciplinary platform for information exchanges, discussions and analyses on current ethical, legal and social challenges of basic and applied stem cell research in Germany. For example, ELSA may facilitate the process of harmonization to simplify the daily workload of researchers by translating relevant documents such as applicable laws, guidelines and recommendations into English and/or German. The results of scientific-medical, ethical, legal and/or social analyses on the latest developments in the field of stem cell research shall feed into the development of guidance.

    Moreover, the working group together with the working groups "Public engagement and outreach activities" and "Patient information (stem cell therapies)" aims to promote public awareness, education and the political debate by organizing interdisciplinary expert meetings, workshops and other events. ELSA also intends to foster talented young scholars, such as through offering travel awards to international stem cell conferences.

    The key questions of the working group are:

    • What are the ethical, legal and social challenges of basic and applied stem cell research in Germany?
    • To what extent are structures and processes harmonized?
    • How can arising challenges be adequately overcome?
    • Are there any ethical, legal and social shortcomings?

    GSCN standard wording text for informed consent

    The GSCN in collaboration with the ELSA workgroup and the  PluriCore Network has established a standard wording document in German used as reference for informed patient consent. This document provided the text blocks to be used for the donation of somatic cells intended for reprogramming of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. A translation back to English is provided for the international use of cell lines.

    Standard wording document:  Download Mustertext here (DE, .docx).
    Translation of the wording document to English (for international use):  Download English Mustertext here (EN, .docx). 

    Further Information:

     For the Public

    Standard wording for informed consent:
     Download Mustertext here (DE, .docx)
    English translation (for international use):
     Download English Mustertext here (EN, .docx). 

     Controversial Cuts (GSCN Annual Magazine 2015/16)

     Genome Editing (GSCN Annual Magazine 2014/15)

     Discussion paper: Ethical and legal assessment of genome editing in research on human cells (Leopoldina 2017)

    GSCN Flyer (DE):

    Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin Stem Cell Network North Rhine Westphalia Partner Organizations Federal Ministry of Education and Research VDI Technologiezentrum