Brooklyn Law School
George Washington Law Review, Forthcoming
Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 97
Can - should - the United States abandon the laissez-faire, market-based approach to reproductive technology in favor of a regulatory model? This article argues that regulation is permissible and that it is sometimes desirable. It also lays out a framework for developing regulatory standards that relies on related areas of law, arguing that because we permit adult patients to undergo risky experimental treatments, we should permit adult ART patients to accept similar risks or adopt uniform rules that proscribe the use of experimental treatments in both contexts; because we allow would-be parents to abort fetuses with undesirable characteristics, we should allow would-be parents who utilize ART to select out unwanted fetuses with undesirable characteristics or adopt rules that uniformly forbids some or all trait selection; because we do not allow parents to subject their children to serious medical risks, we should not allow would-be parents using ART to subject their future children to serious medical risks; and because we outlaw commercialism in transfers of body parts and human beings, we should outlaw commercialism in transfers of sperm and ova or uniformly permit commercialism.
The article concludes that, because ART involves complex, rapidly evolving medical procedures, a quasi-public regulatory entity like that which the federal government has already established in the area of organ transplantation appears to be the most promising regulatory structure and one that fits well within the decentralized U.S. medical-care system.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: reproductive technology, IVF, artificial insemination
JEL Classification: J13, K39Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 17, 2008 ; Last revised: March 16, 2008
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