Heterologous Embryo Transfer Poses Novel Legal Questions

Heterologous Embryo Transfer (“HET”) occurs when a woman, unable to conceive a child, has a genetically unrelated embryo implanted. This form of surrogacy, which has been used for over 30 years, is now being complicated by the trend of embryo adoption.

There are often surplus embryos left over when a couple uses assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization. In certain situations, the couple will allow the surplus embryos to be adopted by another couple. However, this raises novel legal questions if an issue of custody arises. There is neither legislation nor court precedent addressing what would happen if the biological parents sought custody from the second couple. As embryo adoption continues to increase, there will surely be legal battles over this.

From huffingtonpost.com, “Heterologous Embryo Transfer: A New Frontier in Parenting”

Excerpt from article:

Bringing a child into the world by traditional means is a process fraught with moral, ethical and emotional complications. Bringing a child into the world by non-traditional means, such as heterologous embryo transfer (HET) increases the complications exponentially, begging questions such as what defines a parent (genes, love, pregnancy and delivery, etc…) and who does the child belong to?

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Tags: Bioethics, pregnancy, parenting


Gitenstein Thought Leadership Conference




 A Spoonful of Sugar, Ethics and Practice:

Will It Help the Medicine Go Down?


Friday, October 24, 2014 | 8 a.m.-noon

David S. Mack Hofstra Student Center | Multipurpose Room East

More info | Register

Questions? Contact Melissa Kessler at Melissa.J.Kessler@hosftra.edu.

Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy Launches Clinical Bioethics Certificate for Medical and Legal Professionals

The Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University has launched a new Certificate in Clinical Bioethics program with the Hofstra University Bioethics Center and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. The nine-month course will be offered beginning in September 2014.

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$2 Million for New Ideas on How to Analyze Public Health Data

The Knight Foundation will grant shares of two million dollars in prize money to the winners of a contest that requires entrants to submit innovative, unique ways to analyze public health data. The winners must use the money in order to develop their ideas, and the ideas must be in by September 17, 2013. Among the entries already received, one asks patients to agree to the release of health care data after their deaths; one proposes a food poisoning tracker; and one proposes a new dataset to show “how doctors, hospitals, laboratories and other health care providers team together to treat Medicare patients.”

Read more here.

Would You Like Your Burger Rare, Medium, Well or Made of Stem-Cells?

Two volunteers sampled a burger made from stem cells in England; a meal worth approximately $331,400, and three months of laboratory work. According to one of the volunteers, the burger was “close to meat,” and the other claimed that the lack of ketchup made his burger-eating experience unnatural. The stem-cell burger, otherwise known as “schmeat,” comes from stem cells that are harvested from a cow’s shoulder. The stem cells are then converted to strips of muscle in a laboratory. Currently the world demand for beef exceeds its supply. So, some look to schmeat as the future of meat production. Unfortunately, it seems at present that the concept is more palatable than the burger itself.

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High School Students in Suffolk County, New York Learn About Bioethics

Stony Brook Hospital and the Three Village Central School District recently hosted an educational event about bioethics called “Living Book Project: A Day of Conversation, Exploration and Reflection Inspired by Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”  As a result of the event, over 230 high school students from Suffolk County, New York were educated about topics including bioethics, healthcare disparities, and patient advocacy.  Read the original article here.