The Embryo Project is a study of attitudes regarding the status and disposition of embryos. A survey of patients receiving fertility treatments will address their attitudes toward freezing, destruction, or use of these entities. In recent decades, thousands of surplus fertilized ova (embryos) whose owners have neglected or forgotten them have accumulated in IVF clinics. There is a demand for these embryos, as a research resource of the first order—as embryos and as a source of embryonic stem cells—and also potentially for fertility treatments for others (a possibility that has not yet been regulated in Israel). Although there is no legal obstacle to the destruction of embryos stored in IVF clinics after a certain period of time, the clinics’ directors are reluctant to destroy them. Given the current legal situation, there is no way of compelling the prospective parents to decide whether the embryos should be destroyed or donated for research. Also, it is not customary to require the prospective parents to pay for the storage. The study will deal with this issue and others.
Surplus Embryos in IVF Clinics
Dr. Sivan Tamir and Dr. Roi Gilber