Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Blueprint Created for Regulating Reproductive Technologies

28.07.2004


Reproductive technology is an issue that grows more complicated and more controversial each day. Some experts believe that imminent reproductive techniques, like human cloning and germ-line genetic engineering, pose the risk of injuries so frequent and so serious that they should be prohibited completely. Others believe this technology has endless medical possibilities and should be used to its fullest potential. A new book by a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher helps create a road map for determining when and how to regulate risky reproductive technologies on behalf of future children.



“The premise of this book is that the interests of future children are frequently misunderstood,” said Philip Peters, MU professor of law and director of the MU Biotechnology and Society Program. His book, How Safe is Safe Enough? Obligations to the Children of Reproductive Technology, was published recently by Oxford University Press. “Confusion arises because children who owe their lives to a life-inducing technology, yet are born with injuries, could not have been born without their injuries. For them, the only alternative to life with their injuries was never living at all. Daunted by this comparison, regulators rely instead on their untutored instincts or else leave the matter entirely to the fertility industry.”

In his book, Peters offers lawmakers a coherent and comprehensive framework for identifying the circumstances in which the use of a life-inducing procedure places the interests of the resulting child in jeopardy. Peters provides a plan for balancing those risks against the procreative liberty of prospective parents.


Peters proposes a case-by-case inquiry that takes into account the nature and magnitude of the proposed restrictions on procreative liberty, the risk of harm to future children and the context where the issue arises. He applies this framework to four past and future medical treatments: cloning, germ-line genetic engineering, fertility treatments that cause multiple pregnancies, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, which involves retrieving an egg from a female and injecting it with one of the male’s sperm.

Peters criticizes the current lack of regulatory oversight and recommends both more extensive pre-market testing and closer post-market monitoring of new reproductive technologies. He believes that the absence of a comprehensive and coherent system in the United States for regulating either infertility clinics or infertility treatments poses a threat not only to the children who might owe their lives to these reproductive procedures, like cloning, but also to children who are conceived using more conventional infertility methods, like in vitro fertilization using multiple embryos.

The book acknowledges that expanded regulation of reproductive technology is likely to face a constitutional challenge and that access to some forms of assisted reproduction should be constitutionally protected. This, according to Peters, means that regulators must start with the assumption that prospective parents will make good choices once they are given adequate information.

“The first step toward better protection of these children has to be the gathering and sharing of better outcomes data,” Peters said. “If that does not suffice to reduce the overuse of unduly dangerous techniques, than in some instances more restrictive regulation may be needed. Legislatures can safely take the step only if the state has a coherent conception of the ways in which future people can be harmed, relies on credible evidence that a particular reproductive practice is likely to cause serious harm and enacts laws that are narrowly drafted to prevent the proven harm.”

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.missouri.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular motors run in unison in a metal-organic framework
20.03.2019 | University of Groningen

nachricht Active substance from plant slows down aggressive eye cancer
20.03.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

Im Focus: Sussex scientists one step closer to a clock that could replace GPS and Galileo

Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock

Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular motors run in unison in a metal-organic framework

20.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Active substance from plant slows down aggressive eye cancer

20.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Novel sensor system improves reliability of high-temperature humidity measurements

20.03.2019 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>