Capacity and Autonomy: A Thought Experiment on Minors' Access to Assisted Reproductive Technology

51 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2011

See all articles by Michele Goodwin

Michele Goodwin

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Naomi Duke

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Date Written: September 26, 2011

Abstract

This project takes up a blind spot in reproductive decision-making; it considers minors’ capacity to make informed decisions regarding the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART). It also offers a departure from traditional reproductive health framing, and takes an interdisciplinary approach to analyze the legal, medical, and psychological discourses concerning the rights, capability, and capacity of minors to consent to health care and medical procedures. That analysis serves as a backdrop to test a thought experiment on the socio-medical risks and benefits of controlled access to ART for minors.

This article offers critical analysis of three situations for which we may wish to evaluate adolescent use of ART: (1) adolescents as cancer survivors or youth facing impending loss of fertility due to other medical conditions or illness, (2) adolescents as altruistic donors for ailing relatives who wish to parent, perhaps analogized to situations of sibling donor status or other familial organ and tissue donation, and (3) adolescents living separately from and financially independent of parents or legal guardians in a marriage relationship.

Keywords: Assisted reproductive technology (ART), capacity, autonomy, minors, adolescents, consent, reproduction[comma separated]

JEL Classification: A1, D6, I1, I3, Z00

Suggested Citation

Goodwin, Michele and Duke, Naomi, Capacity and Autonomy: A Thought Experiment on Minors' Access to Assisted Reproductive Technology (September 26, 2011). Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Vol. 34, 2011; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-39. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1933829

Michele Goodwin (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

Naomi Duke

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ( email )

420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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