Research involving human fetuses and fetal tissue has been a subject of national debate and rancor for more than two decades. Despite the many demonstrated medical benefits of such research and the issuance of guidelines by various governmental and private ethics advisory bodies, federal support of this research has been severely curtailed. In 1993 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) sponsored a conference on fetal research and applications. This book examines the current state of fetal research and fetal tissue research. It contains an overview of research in the field and a short history on the regulatory and legislative actions governing the field. The bulk of the volume centers on ethical and legal issues of fetal research, preembryo research, fetal research, and fetal tissue transplantation. The volume also contains a full reprinting of the summary from the 1989 IOM book Medically Assisted Conception: An Agenda for Research, including the recommendations and research agenda suggested in that volume. Readers can therefore view that information in context with the suggestions and topics discussed at the conference. The background and research summarized in Fetal Research and Applications should provide insights for future progress and contribute to a fuller understanding of the social and ethical issues involved in this field.
National Research Council. Fetal Research and Applications: A Conference Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1994.
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