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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
'Eggs for research' - Reactions
Experts give their opinion on women donating eggs for scientific research.

DR STEPHEN MINGER
DIRECTOR OF THE STEM CELL BIOLOGY LABORATORY, KINGS COLLEGE LONDON

"In my opinion it is unethical to use human eggs for therapeutic cloning.

"We have no idea of the efficiency of this technique and it may take hundreds of eggs to get one stem cell line.

"A much more responsible approach would be to practise the technique using animal eggs.

"When this has proved successful it may be time to consider using human eggs, but only when we have as much information about the technique as possible."

PROFESSOR IAN WILMUTT
DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR REGENERATIVE MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH

"Egg donation could provide opportunities to study human inherited diseases that could not be available in any other way."

ANGELA MCNAB
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE HUMAN FERTILISATION AND EMBRYOLOGY AUTHORITY

"We know the importance of scientific development, but it is our job to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for the patients and donors that make it possible.

"If that is not the case then we must act to protect their interests.

"There has been a lot of broad discussion on this issue within the scientific and medical community, but a more detailed and specific debate is now needed to help the authority to make a decision on donating eggs for research."

DR TONY CALLARD
BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ETHICS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

"As long as women are properly informed about the procedure and are not pressured to agree, they should be able to consent to egg donation for research."

PROFESSOR ALISON MURDOCH
NEWCASTLE NHS FERTILITY CENTRE

"We are aware of the ethical issues that must be taken into account in all medical research.

"Every egg that would be used would be used for a bona fide piece of research that will help to take the science forward.

"What we are proposing to do is offer women the opportunity to pay for some of their IVF treatment in return for them giving some eggs for research.

"So they are not being put at any increased risk to themselves because they would be having IVF treatment anyway."

JOSEPHINE QUINTAVALLE
HANDS OFF OUR OVARIES GROUP

"Eggs for research is an absolute no-no.

"The risks are too significant. The cost of even one woman's life is not worth it."

CLARE BROWN
INFERTILITY NETWORK UK CHIEF EXECUTIVE

"Without research, treatments for infertility will never improve.

"However, we believe it is vital that all aspects of any research, especially when it involves donated eggs, should be carefully thought through and discussed."




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