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Legal & Ethical Issues

The legislation in the field of Medically Assisted Reproduction (MAR) (.pdf file) varies significantly from continent to continent. Moreover, there are also significant differences between countries and this has to do with various parameters. Key factors influencing the laws of each country are the needs, the culture and religious beliefs of people.

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Sperm donation is an act of generosity and social contribution. Its goal is to offer a gift of life to people who are unable to get pregnant: the creation of a family.

 

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As in sperm donation, the situation is more or less the same with egg donation. There are great differences between countries. Thus, in a number of countries egg donation is legal, whereas in others it may be punished including high fines and even imprisonment.

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Surrogacy is a very complicated issue and raises many ethical concerns, as egg and sperm donation do. However, surrogacy not only involves fertilizing gametes in the laboratory but also the process of gestation.

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Artificial Insemination (ΑΙ) is one of the most common options offered in assisted reproduction. It is a simple and economical procedure when sperm parameters are normal. From the female point of view, we should verify that AI may be performed successfully (e.g. there is not any fallopian tube blockage).

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Assisted reproduction has revolutionized medicine for infertile couples. PGD on embryos was the next step to follow and created many contradictions in the scientific and religious society. PGD was referred to as a new era of eugenics.

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A 1976 survey reported that only in the USA almost 300.000 to 500.000 homosexual biological parents existed. In 1990 it was estimated that around 8 to 10 million children are being raised by homosexual parents.

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Assisted reproduction is a technology that has raised many ethical dilemmas.

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