In their paper, the team recommends a process that is less complex than the detailed "informed consent" process carried out when IVF patients donate embryos for research. They suggest the disclosure to gamete donors may be made through oral discussion or brochures before donors sign a form authorizing the IVF patient to determine the disposition of embryos.
Importantly, says Lo, the gamete donors' instructions would not disrupt the IVF process. IVF patients would learn of a gamete donor's restrictions in advance of selecting embryos for IVF treatment, and could select other gamete donors if not satisfied with the donors' disposition restrictions.
The recommendation is consistent with that of the National Academy of Sciences and the International Society for Stem Cell Research says Lo, a member of the ethics committee of the ISSCR, and the co-chair of the Standards Working Group of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
"It would be highly desirable to have consistency among standards and regulations," he says. "If such harmonization were achieved, many university Institutional Review Boards and other research oversight bodies would likely allow NIH-eligible human embryonic stem cell lines to be used for any otherwise acceptable hESC research."
"It's critical that we consider all parties involved in the creation of embryos and honor their wishes," says co-author Arnold Kriegstein, MD, PhD, director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF.
"The field of human embryonic stem cell research offers enormous promise for patients suffering from devastating diseases. We want to build this field on an ethical foundation of which we can be proud."
Exceptions to the guideline could be justified for hESC l
|Contact: Jennifer O'Brien|
University of California - San Francisco