Innogen · News · January 12, 2007

Experts lead debate on egg donation for stem cell research: 998

The “Talking About Stem Cells: The Social Dynamics of Public Engagement in Stem Cell Research” team recently held a public debate about the possible use of women’s eggs in research.


The "Talking About Stem Cells: The Social Dynamics of Public Engagement in Stem Cell Research" team recently held a public debate prompted by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's public consultation about the possible use of women's eggs in research. Four panellists helped to facilitate the debate and the focus was on the issues raised by the two possible sources of donated eggs for research: from women undergoing IVF treatment in `egg-sharing' schemes, or from women who are not undergoing IVF treatment. The debate was held at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh on 23 November 2006 and was attended by over 90 people.


Overall, this was a successful and lively debate, allowing people to learn about the complex issues that using human eggs in research generates. Some of the issues covered included:


  • the drugs used in ovarian stimulation

  • the role of the clinician and the scientist

  • the ethics of altruism and informed consent

  • the time span of stem cell research

  • commercialisation and international competition

  • the use of fresh eggs in research

  • regulation

The panel were unable to deal with all the questions raised by the participants and it is hoped that this debate was just the start.


Please visit the Talking Stem Cells website for further information and to share your views on stem cells and research..