The human embryo: Ethical and legal aspects

Bartha Maria Knoppers, Sylvie Bordet, Rosario Isasi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


This paper analyses the status of the embryo in Canadian law. First, a brief overview of some ethical issues raised by research with embryos, focusing on the moral status of the embryo, is presented. A survey of the regulatory framework applicable to embryo research in Canada follows, so as to delineate the legal status of the embryo in Canada and its ethical underpinnings. A summary of applicable regulation in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States is also undertaken, illustrating the lack of consensus on this issue in Western countries. Finally, recent developments in stem cell research are considered, focusing on current alternatives to embryo destruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHuman Embryogenesis
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsJulie Lafond, Cathy Vaillancourt
Number of pages25
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Embryo research
  • ethical and legal aspects
  • legal status of the embryo
  • moral status of the embryo
  • stem cell research
  • the human embryo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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