Should We Study Human Embryos Beyond 14 Days? image

NOVA Next, April 26, 2017
Jenny Morber, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

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From the article:

[...] Some critics view calls to re-evaluate the 14-day rule as a pernicious moving of the goalposts. How meaningful can they be, the line of reasoning goes, if scientists want to change rules as soon as they bump up against them?

“There were disagreements about the rationale and validity of the 14-day rule before this point, but no one in the research community really pushed the issue because it was not particularly important,” says Glenn Cohen, a Harvard bioethicist. “There is nothing wrong with pragmatic necessity driving us to start a re-examination process.”

Revision is not necessarily a bad thing, says Debra Mathews of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Plus, scientists are not the only ones whose views may change. “There are many processes wherein we make a decision, we collect information, and we revise our decision. I don’t think that’s actually a problem. When Louise Brown, the first IVF baby, was born—the uproar! And now 2% of babies born in the US are born by IVF.” [...]

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bioethics biotechnology health law policy human subjects research i. glenn cohen regulation research