Fetal Tissue Donation
Fetal Tissue Research
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AbstractThe bill to restore federal funding for human fetal tissue research has been passed by the House and awaits Senate approval. But it requires women who are willing to donate fetal tissue to certify that they did not have an abortion with the intent to donate. It further requires researchers to keep the certifications on file and available for government audit. Both requirements spell trouble....Never before has the state been held to have an interest in establishing that the motivations of women who seek abortion meet certain moral criteria....Accompanied by neither debate nor objection, the law would redefine the privacy standards that govern medical practice....That federal legislation mandating such measures could generate so little discussion, and could pass out of committee without comment by legislators generally sympathetic to health care issues and the concept of privacy in the choice for abortion, suggests that many others besides the authors of H.R. 2507 have to some degree been persuaded that the motives of women who might abort to donate is a central moral difficulty in the use of human fetal tissue.
Hastings Center Report. 1991 Sep-Oct; 21(5): 7-12.
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Attitudes of Women to Fetal Tissue ResearchAnderson, Fionn; Glasier, Anna; Ross, Jonathan; Baird, David T. (2015-05-05)The use of human fetal tissue for scientific research has enormous potential but is subject to government legislation. In the United Kingdom the Polkinghorne Committee's guidelines were accepted by the Department of Health in 1990. These guidelines set out to protect women undergoing termination of pregnancy from exploitation but in so doing may significantly restrict potential research. Although the committee took evidence from a wide variety of experts they did not seek the views of the general public. We asked 108 women about to have a therapeutic abortion, 167 women who had had a pregnancy terminated in the past, and 419 women who had never had an abortion, their views on research using human fetal tissue. Regardless of their past experiences the women were overwhelmingly in favour of research using fetal tissue (94 per cent). They made little distinction between basic research and research with obvious clinical relevance and supported the concept of using transplanted fetal tissue for the treatment of adult disease such as Parkinsonism. Women about to undergo an abortion were significantly more likely (p less than 0.001) to approve of all types of research including that aimed at improving methods of abortion and research using live fetuses