Human Rights to In Vitro Fertilization
Program of Ethics and Public Policies in Human Reproduction, University of Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile
University of Toronto - Faculty of Law
International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
October 1, 2013
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 123 (2013) 86–89
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court) has ruled that the Supreme Court of Costa Rica’s judgment in 2000 prohibiting in vitro fertilization (IVF) violated the human right to private and family life, the human right to found and raise a family, and the human right to non-discrimination on grounds of disability, financial means, or gender. The Court’s conclusions of violations contrary to the American Convention on Human Rights followed from its ruling that, under the Convention, in vitro embryos are not "persons" and do not possess a right to life. Accordingly, the prohibition of IVF to protect embryos constituted a disproportionate and unjustifiable denial of infertile individuals’ human rights. The Court distinguished fertilization from conception, since conception — unlike fertilization — depends on an embryo’s implantation in a woman’s body. Under human rights law, legal protection of an embryo "from conception" is inapplicable between its creation by fertilization and completion of its implantation in utero.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 4
Keywords: Conception, Costa Rica, In vitro fertilization, Infertility, human rights, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, fertilization
JEL Classification: K10, J13, I18
Date posted: September 19, 2013
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