A Report From Australia: When a Human Life Has Not Yet Begun--According to the Law
Bioethics. 1988 Oct; 2(4): 334-342.
Victoria, Australia's Infertility (Medical Procedures) Act 1984, the first legislation to regulate reproductive technologies, permits research on surplus embryos fertilized in vitro but prohibits the creation of embryos for research purposes. The failure to define when an embryo has come into existence or when fertilization has occurred has prevented the continuation of potentially valuable research directed at overcoming infertility. The Standing Review and Advisory Committee on Infertility must now consider the debate over when fertilization occurs, an event that is no longer regarded as a discrete or instantaneous act but as a process revealing no clear point at which a human individual begins to exist. Because the law requires a clear line of demarcation, any legislation in this area will face the problem of defining this point. Interpretation of a 1987 amendment to the 1984 Act may allow the fertilization of ova for purposes other than implantation. (KIE abstract)
Beginning of Life; Cryopreservation; Embryo Research; Embryos; Fetal Development; Fetal Research; Government; Government Regulation; In Vitro Fertilization; Infertility; Intention; Law; Legal Aspects; Legislation; Life; Nontherapeutic Research; Ovum; Public Policy; Regulation; Reproductive Technologies; Research; Review; Sperm;
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