01.03.2011 - 01.12.2014

Health, governance and accountability in embryo research: couples\' decisions about the fates of embryos (2011-2014)



The central question guiding this study is the following one: what is the repertoire of perceptions, concerns, and understandings actualised by the IVF couples in the decision process regarding the fate of embryos? The specific objectives of this project are the following:

1. To indicate broad patterns of IVF couples social, demographic, psychological, medical and treatment characteristics.

2. To identify the views, values, and knowledge actualised by IVF couples to understand the moral status of human embryos in order to decide on their fate.

3. To analyse how the processes of evaluation and classification of the embryos’ quality and viability led by experts impact on those couples’ decision regarding the fate of embryos.

4. To explore the IVF couples’ discourses on the expectations, uncertainties, and responsibilities associated to reproductive technologies. 5. To study the repertoire of citizenship rights and obligations actualised by IVF couples in their decisions as to the fate of embryos.

Drawing on hospital-based survey and in depth interviews with couples involved in IVF’s, this project will contribute to produce knowledge that can be mobilized in several debates, namely: juridical, legal an bioethical discussions around the research on human embryos, their cryopreservation and their donation; IVF’s safety management, efficacy, and quality; good practices procedures regarding the counseling of the couples’ decision processes as to the fate of embryos.


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