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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Issues Regarding Reproductive Aid

5:26 PM
Medical, Ethical, and Legal Issues raised

Undoubtedly, reproductive aid is beneficial and brings joy to infertile parents who otherwise would be unable to have children. However, third-party artificial insemination, the donation of sperm and eggs, and surrogacy all raise medical, ethical, and legal issues.


Ethical issues

# Eugenically healthier and intellectual higher level of offspring when artificially inseminated
# Challenges concepts of traditional marriage and lineage.
# Artificial inseminations can cause confusion regarding familial lineages.
# Traditional values and ideas regarding family are challenged by unmarried women having children via artificial methods.
# Surrogacy could become an occupation if it were universal.
# It can promote conflict within a family and one's sense of inferiority.
# Artificial insemination and external fertilization may have been agreed upon but the thought that "this isn't my child" could later haunt one of the spouses.
# This conflict could affect the child's emotional well-being.
# Failure to fully investigate a donor's familial history of hereditary diseases and genetic make-up could cause unexpected medical problems for the children.
# Danger of deformity related to the fertilization process and sperm and egg preservation process cannot be excluded completely; disposal of surplus zygotes can also be a sociological issue.
# The remaining zygotes could possibly be used in research and experiments.


Legal issues relating to a traditional marriage

# Artificial insemination and external fertilization challenge society's fundamental traditions, morals, and legal ideas regarding childbirth.
# Artificial insemination and external fertilization with a non-spouse are medical acts, but some may view these as acts of adultery although intercourse has not occurred.
# In a society where family laws are based on blood relation, legitimacy issues may arise.
# Because it is impossible for children conceived via a donor to investigate their parents' lineage, traditional ideas regarding inheritance are reconsidered.
# In conclusion, it is very important to give written consent to agreements, permissions, parental responsibilities for raising the child (ren), and other concerns before pursuing artificial insemination or external fertilization.


Duties of medical personnel

# When infertile couples use reproductive aid, especially if the choice is artificial insemination and another person's sperm or egg is involved, medical personnel must counsel the couple regarding hereditary diseases, possible deformities, psychological conflicts, traditional marriage and childbirth, and the parent-child relationship/family system before administration, so as to prevent medical, ethical, and legal aftereffects.
# After explaining the administration method and process to the infertile couple, the couple must give written consent.
# Legal parental relationships are established for the husband in cases of artificial insemination and for the woman in cases of egg donation. Written consent must be granted after the legal responsibilities and duties concerning the child are explained and agreed upon.
# Surrogate mothers have no legal parental relationships with the children and are not required to pay child support. At the time of birth, written consent must transfer parental rights and responsibilities for raising the child (ren) to the infertile couple.
# Egg and sperm donors should wholly entrust the doctor with the use of the donations and the selection of recipients. The donors must make a written pledge stating that they will never make any effort to reveal their identity to the children.
# If the donor has a spouse, the spouse must give written consent to the donation and agree to not attempt to discover who received the donation.
# When choosing a donor, the doctor has a duty to choose a healthy person without hereditary diseases or contagious diseases, but the doctor should not reveal the donor's identity to the recipient.


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