The Bioethics of Human Fetal Tissue Research and Therapy: Moral Decision Making of Professionals

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



We investigated the decision making of professionals regarding the ethical acceptability of using human fetal tissue from elective abortion for research or therapy.


We surveyed 390 professionals from 20 European countries on their ethical beliefs regarding the scientific and medical use of human fetal tissue from elective abortion. We assessed the importance of basic medical ethics and beliefs regarding the morality of abortion and fetal rights to their decision making.


Sixty-six percent of 198 responding professionals believed that use of fetal tissue from elective abortion was ethically acceptable. Beliefs regarding the morality of elective abortion and fetal exploitation overwhelmingly influenced individual ethics regarding fetal tissue research or therapy.


Ethical decision making is a dynamic process and individuals are not altogether consistent in their beliefs. The important public policy issues raised in this study concern the rights of the dead fetus, whether these rights are exploited through fetal tissue therapy, and whether women's right of authority over the disposition of aborted fetal tissue is abdicated. (AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1994;170:12-9.)

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles