Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No Rights to Embryos in United States---Should there be?

Some countries such as Germany and Italy have laws that protect the human embryo, making it illegal to create embryos from IVF without purposeful intentions to transfer them for birth. But the United States has no such laws, giving IVF clinics an open range with no regulations and oversight. This lack of regulation in the U.S. has caused an ethical dilemma.

Scientist and IVF specialists in the United States have intentionally created close to a half a million IVF embryos, frozen in limbo, with no predetermined intention to transfer them into their mother for birth. Now U.S. scientists are justifying the use of these surplus frozen embryos for experimental research, labeling them as “biohazard laboratory waste” with no other purpose but experimental. Many bioethicists find this unethical.

Should IVF clinics and human embryonic stem cell research have stricter oversight? Should the United States limit the number of embryos created by IVF and mandate that it is illegal to create and freeze extra IVF embryos without intentions of transferring those embryos back into the mother?

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