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November 1, 1995

Contempo: Ethical Issues of Human Embryos Research and Physician-Assisted Suicide

Author Affiliations

The College of St Catherine St Paul, Minn

JAMA. 1995;274(17):1344. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530170024020

To the Editor.  —In his recent Comtempo article on ethics, Dr Pellegrino1 asserted: "Late in 1994, two previously impassable ethical barriers were crossed in the United States... for the first time, a National Institutes of Health [NIH] advisory panel approved funding for the production of human embryos for research purposes."Pellegrino is incorrect. The Ethics Advisory Board (EAB) appointed in 1978 by the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare also approved the creation of human embryos for research under stipulated conditions.2 The EAB report stated that "human in vitro fertilization research without embryo transfer" is ethically acceptable provided that "the research is designed primarily to establish the safety and efficacy of embryo transfer" and that "human gametes used in such research will be obtained exclusively from persons" who have been fully informed and have explicitly consented.Whatever one's moral views about the acceptability of such research, it

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