Surrogate Embryo Transfer: The Perils of Patenting
Annas, George J.
Hastings Center Report. 1984 Jun; 14(3): 25-26.
Surrogate embryo transfer (SET) is a new procedure, developed by a research team led by Dr. John Buster of the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, that involves recovery by uterine lavage of an embryo from a donor woman for transfer to the sperm donor's wife. With the concurrence of Dr. Buster, Fertility and Genetics Research, Inc., the company that funded the research, has applied for patents on both the instruments used and the SET process itself. Annas discusses the ethical and legal issues raised by applying the concept of process patenting to a reproductive technology, and contends that such patents should be rejected unless the medical profession and the public can be assured that effective quality controls will be utilized and that reproductive privacy will not be compromised. (KIE abstract)
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