From IVF to Immortality: Controversy in the Era of Reproductive Technology

From IVF to Immortality: Controversy in the Era of Reproductive Technology

by RuthDeech (Author), Anna Smajdor (Author)


This is a book for anyone who has ever paused to wonder: Will cloning ever be legal? Why it is that 'saviour siblings' and sex selection provoke such strong reactions? Will there ever be such a thing as an artificial womb? Assisted reproductive technologies are unique in their capacity to challenge our assumptions and elicit passionate responses. Looking at the moral, philosophical, and legal issues surrounding cases of surrogacy, single or same-sex parenthood, retrieval of sperm from dead or dying patients, and the insemination of post-menopausal women, this book questions whether these rapidly-developing technologies are refashioning the nature of the family. The UK has played a unique role in the development and regulation of reproductive technologies, and has been at the forefront of controversy over 'saviour siblings', designer babies, reproductive cloning, and embryo research. This book provides a clear and simple account of the techniques involved in assisted reproduction and embryo research, and discusses the legal and ethical implications of some of these technologies, illustrated by compelling descriptions of real-life cases. The book also addresses the ways in which reproductive technologies are regulated, critically examining the role of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and comparing the UK's approach with that of other countries. Finally, it contemplates the possibility that some of our most deeply-held assumptions about human nature may be called into question by further developments in stem cell research and fertility treatments.



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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 248
Edition: 1
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Published: 15 Nov 2007

ISBN 10: 0199219796
ISBN 13: 9780199219797

Author Bio
Ruth Deech was chair of the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority from 1994-2002, during the period when stem cell research was legalised in the UK. She is an academic lawyer, former Principal of St Anne's College Oxford, former Governor of the BBC and Rhodes Trustee, honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple, and currently the first Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education. Created a life peer in 2005, she sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords. Anna Smajdor's background is in Philosophy, and she been working and researching in the field of Bioethics for 5 years. She has an ongoing interest in the diverse ethical quandaries which are thrown up by novel developments in all areas of medicine and the life sciences.