Fresh embryo donation for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research: the experiences and values of IVF couples asked to be embryo donors

Haimes, E.; Taylor, K.
September 2009
Human Reproduction;Sep2009, Vol. 24 Issue 9, p2142
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: This article reports on an investigation of the views of IVF couples asked to donate fresh embryos for research and contributes to the debates on: the acceptability of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, the moral status of the human embryo and embryo donation for research.Methods: A hypothesis-generating design was followed. All IVF couples in one UK clinic who were asked to donate embryos in 1 year were contacted 6 weeks after their pregnancy result. Forty four in-depth interviews were conducted.Results: Interviewees were preoccupied with IVF treatment and the request to donate was a secondary consideration. They used a complex and dynamic system of embryo classification. Initially, all embryos were important but then their focus shifted to those that had most potential to produce a baby. At that point, 'other' embryos were less important though they later realise that they did not know what happened to them. Guessing that these embryos went to research, interviewees preferred not to contemplate what that might entail. The embryos that caused interviewees most concern were good quality embryos that might have produced a baby but went to research instead. 'The' embryo, the morally laden, but abstract, entity, did not play a central role in their decision-making.Conclusions: This study, despite missing those who refuse to donate embryos, suggests that debates on embryo donation for hESC research should include the views of embryo donors and should consider the social, as well as the moral, status of the human embryo.


Related Articles

  • Point: The Potential of Stem Cell Research. Pearson, John // Points of View: Stem Cell Research;12/31/2017, p5 

    This article presents an argument on the potential of stem cell research. Therapeutic treatments involving stem cells show tremendous potential for the treatment of complex diseases related to genetic disorders that now afflict millions of people. Federal funding for such research should be...

  • The EU will probably fund stem cell research.  // Reproductive BioMedicine Online (Reproductive Healthcare Limited;Sep2006, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p320 

    The article focuses on the debate over the assisted human reproduction. The Roman Catholic Church leads the opposition to preparing human embryo stem (ES) cell lines from individual human embryos. This follows earlier votes in the United Nations and the decision by U.S. President George W. Bush...

  • The Impact of a Standardized Oral Multinutrient Supplementation on Embryo Quality in in vitro Fertilization/Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection: A Prospective Randomized Trial. Nouri, Kazem; Walch, Katharina; Weghofer, andrea; Imhof, Martin; Egarter, Christian; Ott, Johannes // Gynecologic & Obstetric Investigation;Jan2017, Vol. 82 Issue 1, p8 

    The role of micronutrients in fertility has recently gained increased attention. We aimed to test the impact of a standardized, multinutrient supplementation on outcomes after in vitro fertilization (IVF)/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in a pilot study. One hundred women undergoing...

  • Culture Of Strife. Ennis, Michael // Texas Monthly;Oct2005, Vol. 33 Issue 10, p102 

    This article focuses on the debate over the religious aspects of stem cell research and embryo adoption in the U.S. In vitro fertilization (IVF) violated the moral principles of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1987, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith issued a document known as Donum Vitae,...

  • Stem cells a harbinger of dilemmas to come. Rubens, Jim // New Hampshire Business Review;6/10/2005, Vol. 27 Issue 12, p19 

    The article focuses on issues related to stem cell research in the U.S. Legislator Charlie Bass is being criticized by social conservatives for his leading role in the House vote to relax federal restrictions on stem cell research using new embryonic cell lines. But there is not a peep about the...

  • 'Ethical' stem-cell paper under attack. Abbott, Alison // Nature;9/7/2006, Vol. 443 Issue 7107, p12 

    The article features the news of the creation of human embryonic cells without destroying the embryo. It attracted worldwide media excitement, and later wide criticism for destroying the embryos used in the research. Even the scientific fraternity considered the work and the presentation as...

  • Beyond the 'embryo question': human embryonic stem cell ethics in the context of biomaterial donation in the UK. Bahadur, G.; Morrison, M.; Machin, L. // Reproductive BioMedicine Online (Reproductive Healthcare Limited;Dec2010, Vol. 21 Issue 7, p868 

    Discussion about the ethics of human embryonic stem cell (ESC) research in the UK tends to be dominated by the divisive and potentially intractable issue of the moral status of the embryo. This can have the effect of silencing or marginalizing other concerns, especially in the context of public...

  • Cellular Divide. Begley, Sharon; Murr, Andrew; Check, Erika; Rogers, Adam // Newsweek (Atlantic Edition);7/16/2001 (Atlantic Edition), Vol. 138 Issue 3, p46 

    Discusses the controversy over research on stem cells taken from human embryos in the United States. Mention that the embryos are often left over at in vitro fertilization centers; Topic of the moral and ethical issues surrounding the research; Question of whether President George W. Bush will...

  • Embryo Research in Italy: The Bioethical and Biojuridical Debate. Palazzani, Laura // Human Reproduction & Genetic Ethics;2011, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p28 

    This article deals with the discussion on the status of the human embryo in Italy on a philosophical, socio-ethical and juridical level before, during and after the law (n. 40/2004). Different lines of thought are outlined and critically discussed. The focus is the debate over the so-called...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics