Extending the 14-day rule: what do citizens believe is right?


  • University of Manchester

Project summary

Research on human embryos can only happen under a license in the UK and it is illegal to keep them alive in laboratories for more than 14 days after fertilisation. This is called the ‘14-day rule’. Some scientists recently called for an extension of up to 28 days to enable better research into why early miscarriage occurs, and to improve our understanding of diseases. A YouGov survey, found that 48% of the people they asked supported extending the 14-day rule and 25% were unsure. This is a complex question and surveys do not provide sufficient evidence to enable people to make informed judgements.

We will scope the development of a project to engage the public in this important question, exploring the use of a variety of methods including citizens’ juries.