'Left-Over' Embryos Present Dilemma

Veronica and Tad Hiley, with their twins Abigail and Jonathan and their youngest child, Lauren. i i

hide captionVeronica and Tad Hiley, with their twins Abigail and Jonathan and their youngest child, Lauren. After a successful IVF, the Hileys donated their left-over embryos to an infertile couple.

Courtesy of the Hiley Family
Veronica and Tad Hiley, with their twins Abigail and Jonathan and their youngest child, Lauren.

Veronica and Tad Hiley, with their twins Abigail and Jonathan and their youngest child, Lauren. After a successful IVF, the Hileys donated their left-over embryos to an infertile couple.

Courtesy of the Hiley Family

Proponents say embryonic stem cells may be the key to a new world of medical therapies. But opponents point out there's a moral cost: to get human embryonic stem cells, human embryos must be destroyed.

The embryos scientists use typically come from fertility clinics, leftover from in vitro fertilization.

Pundits and politicians have argued about the moral consequences of conducting this research. But what about the dilemmas couples face who create the embryos?

North Carolina residents Tad and Veronica Hiley had twins through in vitro fertilization. After the process, they were left with nine embryos. Marylanders Jody and Greg Miller, who had triplets through in vitro fertilization, were left with three embryos.

Neither couple wanted to discard their embryos, but they made very different decisions about what to do with them. NPR's Debbie Elliot talks with NPR's Joe Palca about the choices the couples struggled with.

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