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Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
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estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: July 20th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
If that's the crux of your argument (i.e. keeping embryos frozen for no reason), the easy answer is "embryo donation" which is a fabulous (though politicized) idea. However, There's no need to keep embryos that "aren't needed" on ice indefinitely, if funding is opened up for embryonic stem cell research. Right now, the options for a couple who is lucky enough to have embryos left over after an IVF cycle are thus: 1. donate the embryos for someone who needs donor embryos (and yes, they'd still probably be frozen for some period of time anyway), 2. keep the embryos frozen (there is usually an annual charge to the couple who keeps the embryos frozen) until the couple either decides to do a frozen embryo transfer (FET) or decides they aren't going to attempt an FET, 3. I'm not sure if this is an option, but I think the embryos can be discarded, or 4. donate the embryos for stem cell research purposes.

The fourth option right now (in the US) does pretty much equal indefinite cryopreservation, but it's indefinite for no good reason... if funding were opened back up for embryonic stem cell research, those embryos WOULD have a purpose and would NOT be frozen indefinitely.

There are other options. But shouldn't all the options be open?

At any rate, one of the problems here is the nomenclature... the frozen "embryos" aren't embryos at all. In fact, at the 8 cell stage, they are "blastocysts". IVF is replete with misconceptions probably stemming back to the original innacurate term: "test tube baby" which has probably fueled more ethical arguments about IVF than any other ridiculous term. There's NO SUCH THING as a test tube baby.
zis770 From: zis770 Date: July 24th, 2006 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
When I was a kid I used to try to imagine babies "growing" in test tubes. Now I've gotten myself an education! I thought blastecysts were a stage an embryo goes through, becasue IY"H when it does work they're called embryos for the first x # of weeks until they're considered fetuses (fetii?) I never even thought of the connectiong between IVF and stem cell research. Maybe because I don't think a Rav would let me donate for stem cell research (just a guess though) and I've never had eggs to freeze.

About Bush, my very liberal mom who volunteered for the Kerry campaign was very happy when I told her how I'm not so thrilled I voted for him anymore. I mean, what good has he accomplished this term?
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