The tensions between legal and economic regulation

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The tensions between legal and economic regulation are particularly problematic in the control of the sale of human organs. The potential marketization of women’s bodies by reproductive technologies was early recognized by feminist critics, but Internet marketing of surrogate mothers and human gametes is now a global phe-nomenon. The technology of the Internet promotes the globalization of the market-ing of the human body, which in turn was made possible through new reproductive technologies, and presents the greatest challenge to any attempt to regulate the market through the imposition of ethical standards upheld by law. The global market in human organs is consequently anomic. The next regulatory problem arising in this medical field is the corporate control of genetic codes via patenting. Such patents are important because they make the global sale of genetic information commercially viable, but they also insure that the economic inequalities between the developed and developing world will continue. The contemporary global conflict over stem-cell research illustrates the tensions between national politics, interna-tional regulation and corporate profits. In Singapore and South Korea, where legal regulation of stem cell and related biological research fields is permissive, there is an increasing possibility that such global scientific competition will result in the cloning of human beings. This outcome will have major moral and legal implications for what is human and posthuman (Fukuyama 2002). BIO-ECONOMICGLOBALIZATION: THEGERONTOLOGICALREVOLUTIONThe demographic revolution and the greying of populations are worldwide phenom-ena with significant consequences for the global economy, welfare policies and defence strategies. Ageing populations mean that there are significant shortages in the labour markets of the advanced societies and the future implications of ageing for investment, pensions and economic stagnation are significant. The advanced economies (in North America, Europe and Japan) have become dependent on labour migration, both legal and illegal, to solve labour shortages. However, advances in biological sciences have created an expectation that ageing could be delayed, if not cancelled. In conventional gerontology, the question about ‘living forever’ might in practical terms mean living a full life and achieving the average expectation of life. More recently, there has been considerable speculation as to whether medical science through stem-cell research could in fact reverse the ageing process. Between the 1960s and 1980s the view put forward by biologists was that normal cells had a
686bryan s. turner‘replicative senescence’, that is, normal tissues can only divide a finite number of times before entering a stage of advanced quiescence. Cells were observed in vitroin a process of natural senescence, and eventually experiments in vivoproduced a distinction between normal and pathological cells in terms of division. It is para-

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