Duke University study shows that 41% of patients who finished fertility treatment consider donating embryos
The US debate over embryonic stem cell research centres on the sanctity of life.
But the couples who create the leftover embryos would rather they be destroyed in the course of scientific research than be given a chance at becoming babies, a new study from Duke University Medical Centre has found.
The study, released this morning, says 41% of patients who had finished fertility treatment would seriously consider donating their embryos for stem cell research. An additional 12% preferred to discard the embryos. Only 16% said they would be willing to donate the unused embryos to another couple, the sole option that would avoid destroying them.
"The national debate presumes that if you care about and respect a human embryo, you would want that embryo to have a chance at life," said Dr Anne Drapkin Lyerly, a Duke obstetrician and ethicist who led the study. "What we found was that people cared very much about what happened to their embryos, but one of their significant...