Access to genetic information by donor offspring and donors: medicine, policy and law in New Zealand
Medicine and Law: The World Association for Medical Law 2008 March; 27(1): 131-146
The issues of persons conceived as a result of donated gametes having access to genetic information concerning "their" donor remains controversial. New Zealand enacted legislation in 2004 giving offspring the right to learn the identity of the donor when they had reached the age of 18. This legislation followed changes in professional practice, consumer decision making and community attitudes that had accepted the right of offspring to having access to the genetic information concerning the donor. The law, therefore, confirmed current practice, rather than facing change. The way in which medicine and policy have contributed to the widespread acceptance of this new legislation is explored, as is the legislation itself. Four issues--the involvement of counsellors in ART teams, the impact of the consumer organization, the recognition of the cultural needs of the indigenous people and the impact of family law in New Zealand--that have contributed to this are explored, as are some of the issues that are now emerging as a result of this new legislation.
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