Embryo futures and stem cell research: the management of informed uncertainty

Ehrich, Kathryn, Williams, Clare, Farsides, Bobbie and Scott, Rosamund (2011) Embryo futures and stem cell research: the management of informed uncertainty. Sociology of Health and Illness, 34 (1). pp. 114-129. ISSN 0141-9889

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In the social worlds of assisted conception and stem cell science, uncertainties proliferate and particular framings of the future may be highly strategic. In this article we explore meanings and articulations of the future using data from our study of ethical and social issues implicated by the donation of embryos to human embryonic stem cell research in three linked assisted conception units and stem cell laboratories in the UK. Framings of the future in this field inform the professional management of uncertainty and we explore some of the tensions this involves in practice. The bifurcation of choices for donating embryos into accepting informed uncertainty or not donating at all was identified through the research process of interviews and ethics discussion groups. Professional staff accounts in this study contained moral orientations that valued ideas such as engendering patient trust by offering full information, the sense of collective ownership of the National Heath Service and publicly funded science and ideas for how donors might be able to give restricted consent as a third option.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article in press.
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R723 Medical philosophy. Medical ethics
Depositing User: Tracey O'Gorman
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2011 16:05
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2012 09:08
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7335
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