Should excess embryos from IVF procedures be used for research purposes?
There is huge controversy surrounding the issue of whether left over embryos from IVF procedures should be used for research. There are a lot of people who support this issue but there are also a lot of others who are against it. There are a lot of ethical, legal and social barriers surrounding this issue. But if it is allowed to be researched upon, there could be a lot of new discoveries. These could help us save lives and cure or treat different diseases.
Thousands of embryos that cannot be used for fertility treatment are discarded as medical waste each year by IVF clinics. Embryos are discarded for a variety of reasons. Some do not develop normally, while others are found to carry genetic defects that cause serious disease. Some parents simply choose to discard leftover embryos when they are done with fertility treatment. With the parents’ consent, embryos slated for disposal can be used by researchers to derive embryonic stem cells.(1)
In Vitro Fertilization is a reproductive technology in which an egg is removed from a woman and joined with a sperm from a man, in vitro(outside of the body). The sperm and egg cells fuse to form one single cell, zygote, which then starts dividing to form an Embryo. When the embryo is only a few cells large, it is implanted into the woman's uterus, and, if successful will develop as a normal embryo.
Cases such as Infertility is treated by using IVF. These could include blockage of the fallopian tubes, abnormal tissue growth outside the uterus or abnormal sperm.(2)
Stem Cell Research is directed at the potential that certain types of cells, called stem cells, have for regenerating damaged tissue in the body. A stem cell is capable of developing into other types of cells, like kidney cells, liver cells, heart cells, etc. Current medical research is focused on two particular types of stem cells, adult stem...