National human embryo and embryoid research policies: a survey of 22 top research-intensive countries

Kirstin Rw Matthews
Daniel Moralí
The authors review national policies and legislation for IVF, stem cells and human embryo research in the 22 research and development investing nations, focusing on whether they had restrictions for research on either human embryos or so-called “embryoids.” The review determined whether such research was permitted and whether time limits, such as the 14-day rule, were in place. Their comparison indicates that the adoption of the 14-day rule varies between countries. Of the 22 nations they reviewed, only 14 countries maintain a 14-day limit. Some, such as Switzerland, have a 7-day limit. Others, including the US, Brazil, France, and Israel, have no limits established in their national regulation or guidelines. Five countries prohibit basic research on human embryos: Austria, Germany, Italy, Russia and Turkey. Notably, the US does not have federal regulation that establishes a 14-day limit but does have different mechanisms to impose restrictions, such as the ban for federal funding of embryo research through the 1995 Dickey-Wicker Amendment.