Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Georgia State Lecture to Explore Link Between Reproductive Technology, Stem Cell Research

Taking Women to Market: Eggs, Embryos and Informed Consent
3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 26
Room 170, Georgia State College of Law, 140 Decatur St., Atlanta

In the fields of assisted reproduction and embryonic stem cell research, there is a common thread: human eggs.

The collection of eggs, whether for in vitro fertilization or for research purposes, involves the same processes and poses the same risk to women’s health, says University of California-Davis law professor Lisa C. Ikemoto. And increasingly, eggs are being treated as a commodity with little oversight over their collection.

“There’s very little direct regulation of the fertility industry,” said Ikemoto, who will discuss the links between the fertility industry and embryonic stem cell research next month at Georgia State University. “In the research context, it’s mixed right now. Some states, like California, are regulating the procurement process and some states and countries are not.”

Ikemoto’s presentation, “Taking Women to Market: Eggs, Embryos and Informed Consent” will be from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 26 in room 170 of the Georgia State University College of Law, 140 Decatur St.

Ikemoto, who specializes in bioethics and has written extensively about reproductive technology use, is concerned that the market for human eggs may be unduly influencing women to sell or donate eggs without fully understanding the risks. “The disclosure tends to be on paper and it’s not necessarily reflected in conversation,” she said.

“People tend to gloss over what’s in print when they get a long document [to sign],” she said.
The lecture is free and open to the public. RSVP by Jan. 19 to rsvp@lawandhealth.org or 404-413-9084.

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