Bioethicists from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and The Hastings Center, working with a research administrator at The Rockefeller University, proposed in Nature a reexamination of an internationally recognized rule limiting in vitro research on human embryos to 14 days post-fertilization. Under the rule, such research is permitted before the cut-off date at 14 days and prohibited thereafter.
The call for reappraisal comes as two research groups report sustaining human embryos in vitro up to 14 days. This is the first time anyone has reported culturing human embryos in vitro beyond nine days, and rarely have they been reported as being sustained for more than seven. Along with earlier stem cell work carried out at The Rockefeller University, the new achievements could provide scientists with unprecedented capacity to study early human development, say the authors. At the same time, the advances "are on a collision course with the rule that limits embryo research to the first two weeks."
Bioethicists are calling for a reexamination of the internationally recognized rule limiting in vitro research on human embryos to 14 days post-fertilization. Do you favor such a reexamination or reconsideration of this rule?