A RECOMMENDATION that human fetal tissues obtained from induced abortions can be used for research has been unanimously endorsed by an advisory committee to the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), James B. Wyngaarden, MD, and forwarded to an assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The committee also unanimously recommended lifting the present moratorium on the use of human fetal tissues in clinical research studies. Robert E. Windom, MD, assistant secretary for health, had ordered research studies using fetal tissue stopped pending a review of the issues involved (JAMA 1988;260:2012-2015, 3108-3109).
Wyngaarden transmitted the report to Windom. He had no comment on what action might then be taken.
Wyngaarden had called a panel to consider a series of questions posed by Windom regarding the ethical, scientific, and potential therapeutic benefits of the use of human fetal tissue. This group, chaired by former US Court