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July 4, 1990

Alternatives to Using Fetal Tissue From Induced Abortions

Author Affiliations

Mercy Hospital and Medical Center Chicago, Ill

Mercy Hospital and Medical Center Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1990;264(1):34. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450010038015

To the Editor.—  The article1 by the American Medical Association's Council on Scientific Affairs and Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs emphasizes the advantages of using human fetal tissue for transplantation and provides ethical and legal guidelines. But there are obstacles and concerns such as Prolife objections, federal moratoria in the United States, and doubts about strict adherence to guidelines. However, there may be alternatives to using fetal tissue from induced abortions.First, spontaneous abortions and ectopic pregnancies could be sources, not only of intraembryonic tissue, but also of placental and yolk sac tissue. Ectopic pregnancies have increased in incidence and are not uncommon in some large hospitals. Improvements in technology have facilitated earlier diagnoses of ectopic pregnancies, which would permit recovery of viable gestational tissue more frequently and at an earlier stage with the attendant advantages of greater immaturity. Another advantage of ectopic pregnancies is that the frequency