Embryo Experimentation

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Overview

Is embryo experimentation ethically and legally acceptable? What is the moral status of the early human embryo? These controversial questions are the subject of this book, which, as a current compendium of ideas and arguments on the subject, makes an original contribution to the debate.

This book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Beth Fine
This book explores the social, moral, and legal implications of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo research after providing an overview of embryonic development and genetic and other research as a basis for understanding these issues. This book aims to present scientific information and a variety of viewpoints on the legal, ethical, moral, social, and policy issues faced by all who provide, use, or consider the new reproductive technologies. The editors do not identify their target audience. However, this book is written at a level whereby scientists, health care providers, legislators, policy makers, and students can benefit from their clear presentation of the issues and rationales for particular philosophic approaches. The book is well organized; the scientific background is followed by ethical and legal/policy chapters. The multidisciplinary authors provide explanations so that nonexperts could benefit from their work. The glossary is very helpful because language from several disciplines is presented. The few simple illustrations of embryonic development complement the text very well. Because the book has several authors, the number and types of reference sources vary (scientific, legal, philosophic, etc.). However, a reader interested in pursuing a particular area covered in the book could find the sources useful, although few references are dated after 1989. This is a fascinating compilation of chapters by various experts in the areas of embryology, genetics, ethics, policy, and law. It is written at a level for a broad audience and will provoke discussion and debate. For example, there is a chapter questioning whether IVF research is a threat to women's autonomy. A viewpointthat is perhaps underemphasized is that expressing the benefits of reproductive technologies for infertile women and men who desire parenthood. Overall, this volume, although slightly da ted, does an excellent job of providing background in science and ethics for the lay reader to understand these important issues. This book could be used in a bioethics course at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Fertility specialists, reproductive endocrinologists, and other professionals in this area would benefit from reading this book.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Beth Fine, MS (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This book explores the social, moral, and legal implications of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo research after providing an overview of embryonic development and genetic and other research as a basis for understanding these issues.
Purpose: This book aims to present scientific information and a variety of viewpoints on the legal, ethical, moral, social, and policy issues faced by all who provide, use, or consider the new reproductive technologies.
Audience: The editors do not identify their target audience. However, this book is written at a level whereby scientists, health care providers, legislators, policy makers, and students can benefit from their clear presentation of the issues and rationales for particular philosophic approaches.
Features: The book is well organized; the scientific background is followed by ethical and legal/policy chapters. The multidisciplinary authors provide explanations so that nonexperts could benefit from their work. The glossary is very helpful because language from several disciplines is presented. The few simple illustrations of embryonic development complement the text very well. Because the book has several authors, the number and types of reference sources vary (scientific, legal, philosophic, etc.). However, a reader interested in pursuing a particular area covered in the book could find the sources useful, although few references are dated after 1989.
Assessment: This is a fascinating compilation of chapters by various experts in the areas of embryology, genetics, ethics, policy, and law. It is written at a level for a broad audience and will provoke discussion and debate. For example, there is a chapter questioning whether IVF research is a threat to women's autonomy. A viewpoint that is perhaps underemphasized is that expressing the benefits of reproductive technologies for infertile women and men who desire parenthood. Overall, this volume, although slightly da ted, does an excellent job of providing background in science and ethics for the lay reader to understand these important issues. This book could be used in a bioethics course at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Fertility specialists, reproductive endocrinologists, and other professionals in this area would benefit from reading this book.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521383592
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1990
  • Pages: 279
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword J. D. McCaughey; 1. Introduction Karen Dawson; Part I. The Scientific Issues: Introduction to this section Karen Dawson; Why do embryo research? Alan Trounson; Part II. The Moral Status of the Embryo The nature of ethical argument: an introduction Peter Singer and Helga Kuhse; (i) Arguments about the status of different developmental stages Fertilization and moral status Karen Dawson; Segmentation and moral status Karen Dawson; When does a new individual begin, and what does it matter, morally? Helga Kuhse; What makes a being morally significant? Peter Singer and Helga Kuhse; (ii) Arguments about potential IVF Technology and the argument from potential Peter Singer and Helga Kuhse; Arguing from potential Stephen Buckle; Part III. Controlling Embryo Experimentation in a Democratic Society (i) Legislation or self-regulation; The case for self-regulation John Funder; Community control of IVF and embryo experimentation Max Charlesworth; Self-regulation and embryo experimentation in Australia - a critique Pascal Kasimba; (ii) Forming a public policy Public policy in a pluralist society R. M. Hare; Is IVF research a threat to women's autonomy M. A. Warren; IVF regulation: the search for a legal basis Pascal Kasimba; How scientists view regulation: an interview with Drs Alan Trounson and Ismail Kola Karen Dawson; (iii) Drawing lines. Biological processes and moral events Stephen Buckle; The distinction between therapeutic and non-therapeutic experimentation Elizabeth Gaze and Karen Dawson; The syngamy debate: when does an embryo begin? Stephen Buckle, Karen Dawson and Peter Singer; Part IV. The First Legislation: An examination of Victoria's law; The Waller committee and the origins of the Victorian legistation Elizabeth Gaze; Experiments on embryos: permissions and prohibitions under the Infertility (Medical Procedures) Act, 1984 Pascal Kasimba; Legislation and the problems of research Karen Dawson; When is cloning lawful? Pascal Kasimba and Margaret Brumby; An interview with Louis Waller Elizabeth Gaze; Conclusion; Afterword J. M. Swan; Glossary Karen Dawson; Appendices: Infertility (Medical Procedures) Act, 1984 National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines on embryo experimentation A summary of law relating to embryo experimentation around the world Pascal Kasimba.

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