Saturday, February 21, 2009

Society and artificial reproduction

by Margaret Somerville

Should the state assist with conception where it would not approve an adoption?
Two cases -- one in California, the other in Calgary -- involving the use of new reproductive technologies have been the focus of intense media attention recently.

Nadya Suleman, a 33-year-old Californian single mother, just gave birth to octuplets. . .
Ranjit Hayer, a 60-year-old Calgary married woman, just gave birth to twin boys conceived from donated ova and her husband's sperm. She had been trying for decades, including using reproductive technologies, to have a child, but until now had been unsuccessful. Canadian physicians refused her access to IVF because of her age, so she underwent this procedure in India and returned to Canada for care during her pregnancy and giving birth to premature twin boys. Both required special care -- one, neonatal intensive care -- and serious medical complications ensued for Ms Hayer.

What ethical questions do these situations raise? And what insights or lessons might they provide?


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