Fetal Tissue Research
Mary Carrington Coutts
In recent years, the use of tissue from fetal remains for transplantation and biomedical research has surfaced as a controversy that involves scientists, doctors, patients and the federal government. Fetal tissue is potentially useful in a wide range of treatments for a number of serious diseases, some of them affecting millions of people. Despite the promise, transplantation research using fetal tissue from induced abortion slowed dramatically in the U.S. in 1988, when a moratorium was declared on federal funding for such research involving humans. That moratorium was lifted by President Clinton on January 21, 1993. Though the future of fetal tissue transplantation research is brighter, public debate on the issue is likely to continue, exacerbated by the “acrimonious abortion debate” (VI, Post 1991, p. 14).
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