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Dealing with embryos: IVF vs. stem cell research

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posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 03:53 AM
A recent court ruling, by Judge Jeffery Lawrence, that "a pre-embryo is a 'human being' ...whether or not it is implanted in its mother's womb", has likely opened the door to an plethora of related, moral and ethical dilemmas involving embryos and their use.

I have heard a large number of arguments opposing the use of embryonic stemcells for research, on the grounds that from the time an embryo is conceived, it is a human life, and should be afforded the same rights and protections as anyone else. I, personally, don't share these views, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

For those of you who DO believe that we become humans at the instant we are conceived, I would like to know what your feelings are about a couple of things:

Orphaned and Unwanted IVF (in-vitro fertilization) Embryos

At present there are over 400,000 frozen, but potentially viable, embryos sitting in cryogenic freezers across the U.S. Out of these, 3 percent are designated for research, 2 percent for destruction, 2 percent for donation to women, and 1 percent for quality-assurance studies. The remainder are frozen for an indefinite amount of time for future fertilization procedures.

A large number of the frozen embryos will never be used, for various reasons, so the clinics end up with a bunch of frozen fertilized embryos and can't do anything with them.
There are other issues that complicate things legally, such as divorce disputes and the death of one or both donors, but for now I would like to know what you think should be done with these frozen cells, which may have the potential to become people?

I also would like to know if you think that the donors who opt to destroy their unneeded embryos or donate them to research, as well as the doctors who do the actual destroying, should be convicted of murder? Especially in light of the earlier-mentioned verdict which found that the "might-have-been" parents of an accidentally discarded embryo, have the right to sue the clinic for wrongful death.

One last thought...Why do we hear such loud protests against abortion and stem cell research, but hardly a word about the purposeful destruction of IVF left-over embryos?

A couple of articles pertaining to the subject:¬Found=true
(requires a free registration)
(a very thorough and unbiased report on the subject, in PDF format)

[edit on 6-2-2005 by jezebel]

posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 04:33 AM
I personaly dont consider it human until the mother is six months into the pregnancy.

I think a larger percent of unused embryos should go into research, I mean whats more important, the preservation of some (not important, as in it being all thats left) frozen genetic material, or curing diseases?
If its destroyed after the initial six months of pregnancy, than yes I consider it murder, I would hold both the doctor and mother guilty, if she opted for it.

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