The Use of Eggs and Embryos in Stem Cell Research

Klitzman, Robert L.

Stem cell research has enormous potential to advance knowledge about many diseases but poses critical ethical issues. Many countries and U.S. states have developed policies concerning this area that over time will surely evolve, yet certain underlying ethical principles and tensions will no doubt continue to remain key. Overall, the basic ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, nonmalfeasance, and justice are crucial but have been viewed, interpreted, and applied differently by policy makers and others. Controversies remain concerning what degree of respect eggs and embryos should receive; whether egg donors should be compensated, and if so, how much; what exactly to include in informed consent; and how to ensure appropriate oversight by institutional review boards and embryonic stem cell research oversight committees. This article addresses these areas and ways of approaching them, to adhere to important ethical principles, while helping to advance research that has the potential to help innumerable patients.


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Seminars in Reproductive Medicine

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July 13, 2020