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Med Law Int. 1999;4(1):23-38.

Access to donor insemination: Canadian ideals--UK law and practice.

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Medico-Legal Centre, Sheffield, UK.


Reproductive technology has made a huge impact on society, exposing many long-standing, unresolved anomalies in our values and traditions. Access to medically assisted reproduction is particularly controversial, raising medical, legal and ethical issues. The 1980s saw increasing demands across several jurisdictions for clear legal rules, the hope being expressed in Canada that "the law may reflect the community's level of tolerance; but...also stretch or fashion it in the interests of a worthy goal." The Canadian Law Reform Commission recommended that, with regard to donor insemination, "protection for the traditional family should not be incorporated in legislation" and that "access should be limited only in terms of the cost and scarcity of resources", selection not being based on "family status, sexual orientation and so on". This paper attempts a comparative examination of UK legislation on reproductive technology in this light, with particular focus on the rationing of access to donor insemination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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