By Elizabeth O’Brien

  BALTIMORE, Maryland, June 22, 2007 ( – A recent survey of 1,020 American couples who visited fertility clinics shows that 60% would be willing to donate their extra embryos to destructive stem cell research.

  Researchers from Duke University and Johns Hopkins University approached nine different fertility clinics throughout the United States and sent questionnaires to more than 2,000 couples, over half of whom responded, Kaiser Network reports.

  Of these couples, 49% admitted that they would be willing to donate at least some of their left over embryos towards research. This number climbed to 60% when couples were asked if embryos could be used in embryonic stem cell research.

  Another 28% were willing to donate embryos towards research in cloning, but only 22% wanted embryos donated towards adoption by other infertile couples.

  In light of these facts, Dr. Anne Lyerly, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Duke University and co-author of the study, stated, “Our data suggest that the way many infertility patients resolve the very personal moral challenge of what to do with their embryos is consonant with the conclusions of the majority of Americans who support embryonic stem cell research.”

  As these words indicate, the study results may not be as startling as they appear. In other words, those parents who are willing to risk creating extra embryos-all of the parents approached in the study-most likely will have fewer hesitations about supporting embryonic stem cell research as well.

  Noting that more couples are more prepared to destroy their embryos than see them adopted, Lyerly also claimed that this “brings into question the idea that the more you care about an embryo, the more you want it to become a child.”

  Ruth Faden, second co-author of the study and director of the John Hopkins German Institute of Bioethics, commented on her reasons for conducting the study, saying, “These patients face the often morally difficult task of deciding what to do with their remaining cryopreserved embryos. In the end, it is these people who determine whether embryos are available for adoption or for medical research.”

  Addressing this issue of parental decision-making, Campaign Life Coalition President Jim Hughes commented, “The results of this study demonstrate that parents are going into fertility clinics without knowing what they are getting in to.  They are not told that the embryos that are created are their live children and that by donating them for research they are handing them over to be killed.”

  At present, the 1,020 couples who participated in the survey have between 3,900 and 5,900 embryos cryogenically suspended between life and death.

  See Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

  Congress Attempts to Lift Ban on Federal Funding for Embryo Research

“Embryos are Humans” Says U.S. Government Report on Stem Cell Research

  Bush Vetoes Embryonic Stem Cell Bill…Again


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