Bioethics 21 (9):465–477 (2007)

Carolyn McLeod
University of Western Ontario
Françoise Baylis
Dalhousie University
Some stem cell researchers believe that it is easier to derive human embryonic stem cells from fresh rather than frozen embryos and they have had in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinicians invite their infertility patients to donate their fresh embryos for research use. These embryos include those that are deemed 'suitable for transfer' (i.e. to the woman's uterus) and those deemed unsuitable in this regard. This paper focuses on fresh embryos deemed suitable for transfer - hereafter 'fresh embryos'- which IVF patients have good reason not to donate. We explain why donating them to research is not in the self-interests specifically of female IVF patients. Next, we consider the other-regarding interests of these patients and conclude that while fresh embryo donation may serve those interests, it does so at unnecessary cost to patients' self-interests. Lastly, we review some of the potential barriers to the autonomous donation of fresh embryos to research and highlight the risk that female IVF patients invited to donate these embryos will misunderstand key aspects of the donation decision, be coerced to donate, or be exploited in the consent process. On the basis of our analysis, we conclude that patients should not be asked to donate their fresh embryos to stem cell research
Keywords women  fresh embryos  coercion  stem cell research  in vitro fertilization  exploitation  embryo donation
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2007.00592.x
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References found in this work BETA

Exploitation.Alan Wertheimer - 1996 - Princeton University Press.
Exploitation.Michael Gorr - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (2):296.
Oppression by Choice.Ann E. Cudd - 1994 - Journal of Social Philosophy 25 (s1):22-44.
Embryological Viability.Françoise Baylis - 2005 - American Journal of Bioethics 5 (6):17 – 18.

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Animal Eggs for Stem Cell Research: A Path Not Worth Taking.Françoise Baylis - 2008 - American Journal of Bioethics 8 (12):18-32.

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