Attitudes on the donation of human embryos for stem cell research among Chinese IVF patients and students

Rosemann, Achim and Luo, Huiyu (2018) Attitudes on the donation of human embryos for stem cell research among Chinese IVF patients and students. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 15 (3). pp. 441-457. ISSN 1176-7529

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Abstract

Bioethical debates on the use of human embryos and oocytes for stem cell research have often been criticized for the lack of empirical insights into the perceptions and experiences of the women and couples who are asked to donate these tissues in the IVF clinic. Empirical studies that have investigated the attitudes of IVF patients and citizens on the (potential) donation of their embryos and oocytes have been scarce and have focused predominantly on the situation in Europe and Australia. This article examines the viewpoints on the donation of embryos for stem cell research among IVF patients and students in China. Research into the perceptions of patients is based on in-depth interviews with IVF patients and IVF clinicians. Research into the attitudes of students is based on a quantitative survey study (n=427). The empirical findings in this paper indicate that perceptions of the donation of human embryos for stem cell research in China are far more diverse and complex than has commonly been suggested. Claims that ethical concerns regarding the donation and use of embryos and oocytes for stem cell research are typical for Western societies but absent in China cannot be upheld. The article shows that research into the situated perceptions and cultural specificities of human tissue donation can play a crucial role in the deconstruction of politicized bioethical argumentation and the (often ill-informed) assumptions about “others” that underlie socio-ethical debates on the moral dilemmas of technology developments in the life sciences.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: embryo donation, human embryonic stem cell research, gene editing, germ line modification, science policy, regulation, value of unborn life, China
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine
Depositing User: Achim Rosemann
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2018 13:59
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2018 13:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/72960

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Bionetworking in Asia - A social science approach to international collaboration, informal exchanges, and responsible innovation in the life sciencesG0812EUROPEAN UNION283219
Bionetworking in Asia - International collaboration, exchange, and responsible innovation in the life sciencesG0750ESRC-ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCILES/I018107/1
Human Gene Editing in Global ContextUnsetWellcome Trust204799/Z/16/Z