Why we should not extend the 14-day rule

Journal of Medical Ethics (10):712-714 (2021)
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The 14-day rule restricts the culturing of human embryos in vitro for the purposes of scientific research for no longer than 14 days. Since researchers recently developed the capability to exceed the 14-day limit, pressure to modify the rule has started to build. Sophia McCully argues that the limit should be extended to 28 days, listing numerous potential benefits of doing so. We contend that McCully has not engaged with the main reasons why the Warnock Committee set such a limit, and these still remain valid. As a result, her case for an extension of the 14-day rule is not persuasive.

Author Profiles

Daniel Rodger
London South Bank University
Bruce P. Blackshaw
University of Birmingham


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