New Embryo Bank Would Solve Moral Dilemma

With approximately half a million embryos left over from in vitro fertilization now frozen and stored in fertility clinics, the question of what to do with them has become a big issue. Most of them will be discarded, donated for scientific research, or given to other couples. (For patients who can’t conceive using their own eggs, using pre-existing embryos is more cost-effective than an egg donor, researchers say.)
For some couples, however, none of those three options feel right—yet they can’t afford the hundreds of dollars a year its costs to store the embryos—so they’re left with a moral dilemma.
Jeanne Loring, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute in California, thinks she has the answer. She wants to create an embryo bank that would take responsibility for these embryos. And perhaps religious groups that feel strongly about what happens to extra embryos can help cover the costs, she says. These groups, she tells the Religion News Service, “are against using embryos for research but … they are not offering another solution.” —Heather Wax

Category: Bioethics

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