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Stem Cell DialoguesA Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry Into Medical Frontiers$
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Sheldon Krimsky

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167482

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167482.001.0001

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My Embryo is Auctioned on the Internet

My Embryo is Auctioned on the Internet

(p.103) Dialogue 16 My Embryo is Auctioned on the Internet
Stem Cell Dialogues

Sheldon Krimsky

Columbia University Press

In this dialogue, Dr. Rebecca Franklin is having a conversation with Janet Blackman, a lawyer and feminist writer who has excess embryos from an in vitro fertilization procedure and wants to sell them on an Internet auction site, the fictitious EggAuction.com. After bearing her first child, Blackman had difficulty conceiving again. In vitro fertilization (IVF) was not successful. When she learned that her father had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), she had her son genetically tested and found that he too had the mutation. Realizing that her stored embryos had a rare disease gene, Blackman decided to auction them off to researchers on EggAuction.com. Here she and Franklin talk about the lawsuit filed against her by a right-to-life group; the ethics of using Blackman's DNA to create human embryos from which to harvest embryonic stem cells, which involves destroying those embryos; court rulings on ownership rights over human cells; and whether Blackman's auction will do better outside of the United States.

Keywords:   in vitro fertilization, Internet auction, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, right-to-life, DNA, human embryos, embryonic stem cells, ethics, human cells

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