Embryo Dignity: The Status and Juridical Protection of the in Vitro Embryo
Raposo, Vera Lúcia
Medicine and Law: The World Association for Medical Law 2007 December; 26(4): 737-746
In the context of research and reproduction, the status of the human in vitro embryo ranges from being regarded as a person to being regarded as mere property. As regards the first view, one extreme of the spectrum for offering possible legal protection considers that the embryo constitutes a legal person from the moment of conception. For opponents of this view life is a continuum that runs from conception until death. In this process one of the most important stages is birth, the reason being that birth represents the transition between a potential person and a person. The term "embryo" is used to express the being that exists after fusion of the egg and a spermatozoon during the process of embryogenesis until it reaches eight weeks, after which time it is termed a foetus. The embryo's life is recognized as a constitutional value which deserves juridical protection, but not as a person. It only becomes a person with birth.
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Assisted reproductive technologies in Portuguese law -- commentary to the Judgment no. 101/2009, of March the 3rd of the Portuguese Constitutional Court. Raposo, Vera Lúcia; Vale e Reis, Rafael (2009-07)
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