Reproductive and genetic medicine

chromosomePEALS’ strong focus on reproductive and genetic medicine has been developed through several projects over the last decade. We have a particular interest in exploring perspectives and experiences that are often missed out of more theoretical approaches to bioethics. Our work is grounded in an empirical understanding of the impact of new biomedical technologies, which highlights the experiences of patients, donors, user groups, practitioners, etc. in the various disciplines that make up the field.


Below is a list of current and past projects on reproductive and genetic medicine:

A socio-ethical investigation of the values and experiences of women volunteering to provide eggs for mitochondrial research under a scheme in which money is offered to egg providers 2013-2015, The Wellcome Trust, £199,905 to PEALS, Principal Investigator Erica Haimes

RD Connect 2012-2018, EU, £1,071,786 of which £180,000 to PEALS, Work Package leader Simon Woods, with Project Leaders Hanns Lochmüller and Kate Bushby

Faithful judgements: the role of religion in lay people’s ethical evaluations of new reproductive and genetic technologies 2011-2013, ESRC, £254,000 to PEALS, Principal Investigator Jackie Leach Scully

Embryo and egg donation for research in Canada 2011-2013, Canadian Institute of Health Research, $CAN 453,891, Co-Investigator Erica Haimes based on replication of her Wellcome Trust grant. With F Baylis, A Leader and C McLeod

Embryo donation for stem cell research in Portugal 2010-2013, Portuguese Funding Council, €83,712, Erica Haimes named as consultant, with S Silva (PI) and H Machado

The genetics of autistic spectrum disorders: social and ethical implications 2010-2011, Northumberland Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust, Flexibility and Sustainability Fund, £30,000, Principal Investigator Dr Jeremy Parr, Institute of Neurosciences, Co-Investigator Dr Janice McLaughlin

Interdisciplinary approaches to the uses of reproductive tissue in stem cell science (IDARTSS) 2009-2012, William Leech Charitable Trust, £200,000 to PEALS, Principal Investigator Erica Haimes

Women’s experiences of an IVF egg sharing scheme for SCNT research 2008-2011, Medical Research Council, £296,000 to PEALS, Principal Investigator Erica Haimes

TREAT-NMD Network 2007-2011, EU Network of Excellence, £1,357,222.00, of which £200,000 to PEALS, Work Package leader Simon Woods, with Project Leaders Kate Bushby and Volker Straub

Potential embryo donors’ views on embryonic stem cell research and therapies 2003-2012, Wellcome Trust, £210,944 to PEALS, Principal Investigator Erica Haimes

Antenatal Screening Website Resource (AnSWeR) 2003-2005, Wellcome Trust, £119,998, Principal Investigator Tom Shakespeare

Latest publications in this area include:

Haimes, E. & Taylor, K. (2015) Rendered invisible? The absent presence of egg providers in U.K. debates on the acceptability of research and therapy for mitochondrial disease, Monash Bioethics Review, 33: 360. doi:10.1007/s40592-015-0046-7

Haimes E, Taylor K. What is the role of reduced IVF fees in persuading women to volunteer to provide eggs for research? Insights from IVF patients volunteering toa UK 'egg sharing for research' scheme. Human Fertility 2014, 16(4), 246-251.

Haimes E. Juggling on a rollercoaster? Gains, loss and uncertainties in IVF patients' accounts of volunteering for a U.K. 'egg sharing for research' scheme. Social Science and Medicine 2013, 86, 45-51

Haimes, E., Taylor, K. and Turkmendag, I. (2012) ‘Eggs, ethics and exploitation? Investigating women’s experiences of an egg sharing scheme’, Sociology of Health and Illness, 34(8):1199-1214

Scully J, Haimes E, Mitzkat A, Porz R, Rehmann-Sutter C. Donating embryos to stem cell research : the “problem” of gratitude. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 2012, epub ahead of print

Turkmendag I. The Donor-conceived Child's `Right to Personal Identity': The Public Debate on Donor Anonymity in the United Kingdom. Journal of Law and Society 2012, 39(1). In Press.

Haimes E, Taylor K. Researching the Relationships between Tissue Providers, Clinicians, and Stem Cell Scientists. Cell Stem Cell 2011, 8(6), 613-615.

McLaughlin J. Where's the Harm? Challenging Bioethical Support of Prenatal Selection for Sexual Orientation. In: Scully, JS; Baldwin-Ragaven, LE; Fitzpatrick, P, ed. Feminist Bioethics: At the Centre, On the Margins. Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press, 2010, pp.174-189.