12 - 14 décembre 2018
Drawing the Line: Analyzing the International Guidelines on Human Embryo Research from Ethical, Legal, Social and Scientific Perspectives
- Iltis Ana
- Matthews Kirstin, Rice University, Fellow in Science and Technology Policy
- Wagner Daniel
- Brivanlou Ali
Human embryo research is restricted in many countries to the 14th day of development, a stage prior to the formation of the primitive streak—an observable, early step towards the formation of neural tissue. In 2016, scientists published the first reports cultivating human embryos to this time point, stopping because of the restriction and for non-scientific reasons. Many scientists and ethicists are now questioning the validity of the deadline. Is it an ethically justifiable point to end research? Or is it merely a public policy tool to limit research that previously was only hypothetically possible? Others believe the guideline is justifiable and suggest that science and the desire to obtain scientific knowledge alone should not be the factor determining permissibility of human embryo research past day 14. Instead moral, ethical, and societal considerations should be a part of the discussion.
In this workshop, we will bring together a group of distinguished scholars in developmental biology, philosophy, bioethics and public policy to assess the 14-day rule for human embryo research through scientific, ethical, legal and social perspectives. The goal will be to create a framework that national bodies and non-governmental funding organizations should review to help inform their thinking when approaching regulations and guidelines. Project outcomes will include a consensus document, an open-access policy report, and several peer-reviewed articles. The resulting dialogue will have long-lasting ethical, legal and social implications, affecting the future of much biological research and thus patient care.