Prof. George Annas has just published an important article about regulating assisted reproduction in the New England Journal of Medicine. He considers in detail last year's Canadian Supreme Court decision about the regulation of reproductive medicine, which by the narrowest of margins assigned regulation to the provinces rather than the federal government.
Then he considers the implications of these issues — not necessarily the decision itself so much as the context surrounding it — for the U.S. and for other countries. There is an uncharted minefield of threats to human rights, which badly needs addressing. He concludes:
The “global baby” has arrived in practice, but neither legal theory nor medical ethics has kept pace with the globalization of human reproduction.
Previously on Biopolitical Times:
Posted in Assisted Reproduction, Human Rights, Other Countries, Pete Shanks's Blog Posts, Reproductive Justice, Health & Rights, US Federal
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Comment by Robert Dingwall, Aug 5th, 2011 1:30am
The really interesting thing about Annas' article is its wholly unexamined assumption that there are, or should be, uniform global standards in this area. This really is breathtaking - surely family formation and family life is something where diversity should be accepted, subject to fairly basic criteria of equal protection. Another way of framing the Canadian decision would be that it permits and encourages regulatory competition, a whole series of natural experiments that allow citizens to express their own preferences and choices in reproductive matters. Don't we generally hold that choice is a good thing when it comes to decisions about how, when and whether to reproduce?