In the field of medically assisted reproduction (MAR), there is a growing emphasis on the importance of introducing new assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) only after thorough preclinical safety research, including the use of animal models. At the same time, there is international support for the three R's (replace, reduce, refine), and the European Union even aims at the full replacement of animals for research. The apparent tension between these two trends underlines the urgency of an explicit justification of the use of animals for the development and preclinical testing of new ARTs. Considering that the use of animals remains necessary for specific forms of ART research and taking account of different views on the moral importance of helping people to have a genetically related child, we argue that, in principle, the importance of safety research as part of responsible innovation outweighs the limited infringement of animal wellbeing involved in ART research.
- Assisted reproductive technologies
- Responsible innovation
- Animal research
- The three Rs