How and Why to Replace the 14-Day Rule

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of Review
The ‘14-day rule’, which limits research on human embryos to the first 14 days after fertilisation, has long been a pillar of regulation in this contested area. Recently, advances in developmental biology have led to calls to rethink the rule and its application. In this paper, I address the question of whether the 14-day rule should be replaced and, if so, how.

Recent Findings
The two lines of research that have prompted this question are new techniques enabling culture of embryos at least up to 14 days and patterning experiments with pluripotent cells suggesting that they might form embryo-like structures. I consider each of these in relation to the foundations and function of the rule to examine whether they warrant change.

I argue that the 14-day rule for embryo research should be open to change, but that this possibility must be addressed through early and thorough discussion involving a wide range of publics and other stakeholders
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-234
JournalCurrent Stem Cell Reports
Early online date16 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'How and Why to Replace the 14-Day Rule'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this