Teaching Law

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Human Embryo Research: Who Donates the Eggs?

File:White chicken egg square.jpg
Who donates the eggs?*

In headline news today, scientists have announced a breakthrough in human cloning. Human skin cells and a woman's egg were used to create an early stage embryo that is a copy of the original skin cell. The news is being celebrated largely because of the possibility for this process to develop therapy or cures for many afflictions.

There is also concern however over other implications of the process - principally the spectre of cloning humans themselves. Most responses I've heard on this point so far, have focused on the strict regulation of human cloning for reproduction, and the severe legal penalties for breach.

This is a complex enough issue - weighing the obvious therapeutic benefits for those suffering debilitating diseases and the concerns attendant on the technology taking us down the path of human cloning. However there is another aspect that I've not seen mentioned in the media so far: namely the origin of the 'donated' eggs.